From Our Files – May
HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific, chronicling the Islands since 1888.
May 1921: "Prison! What mind-pictures are conjured up by the word! With what sense of horror it fills us," writes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. But a visit to O'ahu Prison (photo below) in Kalihi dispelled the magazine's notions of life in the local penitentiary, which included a library with more than 1,000 books, a cheery visitors' room and well-kept cells and dormitories. "Indeed, one of the most vivid impressions one gets is that of brightness, airiness and spotless cleanliness: how different from the noisome, dank penal institutions of a generation or so back," the magazine says.
May 1946: Paradise of the Pacific visits McKinley High School and marvels at its ethnically diverse student population, photo top, next page. "The faces of the students indicate that the majority have forebears in the Oriental countries of the Pacific. People often wonder, are they taught and do they develop faith in the American way?" Yes, the magazine concludes, pointing out how students raised more than $150,000 ($1.5 million today) in war bonds over three years, participated in numerous blood drives and worked in the sugar and pineapple fields. "They had learned what was meant by cooperative effort under wartime conditions," Paradise writes. "Democracy lives at McKinley."
May 1961: While many of Hawai'i's teens head to the beach in their spare time, a growing number participate in high-school civic activities, such as the YMCA-sponsored Hi-Y Model Legislature, reports Paradise of the Pacific. "This experience offers 400 teenaged legislators invaluable training in the workings of American government. During Easter vacation, the teens gather at the University of Hawai'i ... [to] discuss and debate bills formulated by each Hi-Y club's senator and two representatives." One "youth governor" of the Model Legislature was Kaua'i High School student body president Eric Shinseki, photo below, who went on to become a general in the U.S. Army and its 34th chief of staff.