From Our Files
In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.
“Two recent skiing parties, which explored the snow-covered slopes of Mauna Kea on different sides of the mountain, demonstrated that skiing in Hawaii is more than a mere fantasy,” writes Dudley Lewis, for Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. Lewis was part of the exhibition, which included prominent businessmen, and was led by Jackie Bryan, the first person to ski on the Big Island volcano. The group made stops at a couple of camps along the way, eventually reaching an elevation of 13,800 feet at the summit. They had help in the form of pack mules “for our equipment, including some elaborate moving-picture cameras. The snow on Mauna Kea presents an open invitation to any winter-sport enthusiast.”
“Hawaii’s estimated population was increased by more than 17,000 over the previous year, as of July 1946. This is just one of the nuggets of information contained in Hawaii Facts and Figures, a valuable booklet,” notes Paradise. The Chamber of Commerce in Honolulu commissioned the informational pamphlet. In post-war Hawaii, the population was growing, but not so much the job market. “Job opportunities were at their lowest ebb since 1938. During 1946, a total of $170,149 was paid in unemployment benefits, compared with $7,027 in 1945 ($2 million and $88,000 in today’s dollars).” Research found, though, that exportation of fresh flowers and tuna from the Islands shot up.
“Down among the deepening caverns of Waikiki’s skyscrapers there is a fairyland entertainment park that would be called Disneyland if it were in Anaheim,” observes Paradise. That fairyland is the International Market Place, featuring about 30 “exciting shops that sell everything from corned beef hash to island candies.” The land on which the marketplace sits on was at the time leased by the descendants of two Mainland missionaries, to support Queen’s Hospital. “Every afternoon, hundreds are seeing the Tahitian shows under the big central banyan tree and enjoying the bright atmosphere which art and craftsmanship can produce.”