These Historic Hawai‘i Yearbook Photos Will Transport You Back in Time

We take a look inside your high school yearbooks to find what’s changed about the local high school experience over the years, and what’s stayed exactly the same.


Published:

(page 1 of 5)

This story originally appeared online in November 2012. 

 

Oh, high school. Is there any other time in our lives for which we’re so nostalgic, and yet so glad is over? Luckily (or embarrassingly), yearbooks are there to record the experience—the homecoming dances, the awkward fashions, the jocks, nerds and babes. Your yearbook is probably safely stashed in a closet somewhere, but someone else has a copy, too: the Hawai‘i State Library. Its collection includes just about every high school throughout the Islands, and dates back as far as 1914. We combed through the stacks to find what’s changed about the local high school experience over the years, and what’s stayed exactly the same.

 

Special thanks to the Hawai‘i State Library staff, who were a great help in collecting all these images. If you’re interested in exploring more old yearbooks, the entire collection is available to the public in the Hawai‘i and Pacific Section of the Hawai‘i State Library (478 S. King Street, 586-3535, librarieshawaii.org.)

 

1914

Hilo H.S.

The entire 1914 graduating senior class, from left: Irene Kalai, En Kong Wung, Rita Canario, Matsuyo Sakuma.

The entire 1914 graduating senior class, from left: Irene Kalai, En Kong Wung, Rita Canario, Matsuyo Sakuma.

 

 

Early 20th Century yearbooks often read like literary journals, with sections for poetry, essays and jokes. Sample quip from 1921: Kanichi F: “There’s something so dove-like about her.” Bud Y.: “Yes, she’s pigeon-toed.”

 

 

 

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