Bette Midler Returns Home to Perform in Honolulu and More From Hawai‘i’s History

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.




Bette Midler


Bette Midler returns home to perform a concert at the Honolulu International Center. After multiple national tours, two albums, a Newsweek cover and three ABC television specials, the ‘Aiea native struts her sequins onstage in front of local folks for the first time since her singing career skyrocketed her to New York 10 years prior.





Hawai‘i’s single-sex schools struggle with student enrollment as they face modern skepticism and a dwindling school-age population. Only six schools have stuck with their mission to educate either boys or girls, with four of them being Roman Catholic. Many of these single-sex private schools, such as Hawai‘i School for Girls, grapple with the idea of modern-day marketing, a concept they feel disregards school tradition.



One year after Hurricane ‘Iniki, HONOLULU pays a visit to Kaua‘i on its road to recovery. Driving around the Garden Isle, one would hardly notice the $1.6 billion in storm damages: Yellow flowers of the hau bushes have blossomed along the Wailua River, island rains have restored the lushness that is Hanalei Valley and major hiking trails have reopened for tourists. Despite the remarkable recovery, Kaua‘i’s tourism remains at only a fraction of what it was before the storm.


1913: Public schools begin to teach the art of Hawaiian braiding and weaving in hopes that future generations of Hawaiians may preserve the tradition and one day use it for commercial purposes.   



Pineapple Picking


Pineapple picking is not a rare sight on Lāna‘i, where most of the island is owned by Dole Pineapple Corp. (which bought it in 1922 for $1,100,100). Starting in the early mornings from May to August, groups of mothers and daughters take to the Dole Plantation fields to gather the crop (the men take the late shift). Although their uniforms may seem quite similar—welder’s goggles to keep out flying thorns, giant hats to shade their bodies from the sun and bandannas to cover their faces—no two women would ever be caught dead wearing the same exact outfit, according to Paradise.



Liberty World Challenge


Outrigger crew Pualana Hawai‘i represents the state at the annual Liberty World Challenge in New York. The Manhattan Island circuit includes a 16-mile race on the Hudson River featuring rapidly shifting currents, wakes from nearby ferries and one of the most breathtaking cityscapes in the world. Paddler Jacy Youn recalls her excitement to compete in the race, describing the experience as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to paddle a traditional Hawai‘i outrigger canoe around the tip of Manhattan.” The 5-0 state’s first team at the challenge was Team Hawai‘i, which took home the men’s title in 1997.



Paradise of the Pacific 1933 Cover


Paradise of the Pacific 1196328 Cover


HONOLULU Magazine 1993 Cover



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