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From Our Files: Moments from Hawai‘i’s History – November Edition

A look back at Honolulu from 1948 to 2003. Stories taken from the archives of the Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.


King David Kalakaua

Our History

In 1888, King Kalākaua 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.




Hawai‘i mourns the loss of its oldest resident at the time, Johannes Emil Elderts, 105. Born in Germany, Elderts lived an often colorful life—from voyaging in the Pacific in 1854 and ending up in Honolulu, where his ship was condemned and sold; to shooting cattle on the slopes of Mauna Kea (trading hides was a popular industry during this time); to trying unsuccessfully to get his German wife to move to the Islands (and then marrying another lady in Hawai‘i). You could say he saw it all.





Hawaiian Airlines celebrates its 20th anniversary, boasting that it has served 1.5 million passengers without injury. Paradise also touts Hawaiian’s unique stewardesses, who can dance hula, sing, play the ‘ukulele and speak a couple of languages (including pidgin English).





The Hawai‘i Maritime Museum at Aloha Tower opens with 35 exhibits (including the Falls of Clyde and Hōkūle‘a docked nearby) that tell the stories of early maritime history, Polynesian voyaging and the influx of European explorers. HONOLULU describes it as “a museum with a touch of Disneyland,” referring to its appeal to all of the senses. Visitors can taste the food of ancient voyagers, hear recorded encounters on ships, touch replicas of tools used by Hawaiians and watch “dramatic” video presentations. Unfortunately, the museum closed in 2009, with officials citing a decline of visitors and a lack of funding.


1948: The Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau (now the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau) opens a Hilo office, three years after its inception. The Hilo office is the first branch to open outside of Honolulu.





HONOLULU spotlights Sandra Kwock Silve, acclaimed for starting the first and only hula hālau (at the time) in France a decade ago. Silve moved to Paris, where she initially worked as an art critic, after spending her junior year abroad in France (she attended UH Mānoa). Yearning to teach her daughter about her roots in dance, she created Hālau Hula O Mānoa. Today, a search on mele.com, a directory of hula hālau worldwide, shows there are now two hula troupes in France.





In the spirit of giving, a group on O‘ahu cooks turkeys in an imu as a fundraiser and community bonding project. The Kualoa-He‘eia Ecumenical Youth (KEY) Project cooks upward of 500 turkeys with the help of more than 100 volunteers. “I think the key with this is, if the imu is dependent on one person … it’ll have a good run and then disappear. But if it’s built into the tradition of the community, it will survive longer and keep going,” says John Reppun, the project’s executive director. Read the full story here.





Paradise of the Pacific 1933 Cover


Paradise of the Pacific 1988 Cover


HONOLULU Magazine 2013 Cover



Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.​


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