From Our Files

February archives

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.



“Every new ship that comes into Hawaii means more sailors visiting this port, men who are in a sense guests of our city and who need entertainment and often advice and assistance,” notes Paradise of the Pacific. That’s where the Seaman’s Institute of Honolulu comes in, located on what is now the Kakaako waterfront. The Institute provides everything from living quarters, entertainment and meals (including holiday feasts), to a place where sailors could write letters to families on the Mainland. “Over and over the writers mention Honolulu as the one port that stands out in their memory for real hospitality.”



Waikiki Aquarium—originally named the Honolulu Aquarium and established in 1904—is the third oldest in the United States, and is, “on the basis of attendance, the city’s outstanding ‘tourist attraction,’” observes Paradise of the Pacific. The aquarium attracted “10 times more visitors” when it abolished the 25 cent admission fee in 1941. Despite its popularity, the University of Hawaii-owned facilities were inadequate. It wasn’t until 1955 (and again in 1992) that large renovations were made. UH still owns the aquarium, and it was most recently renovated in 2004 for its centennial celebration. 



HONOLULU Magazine examines the operations of the Oahu Community Correctional Center, three years after a much-needed 1981 shakedown, “a massive attempt on the part of authorities to confiscate weapons and generally restore order.” The shakedown even involved Halawa High Security guards, HPD and the National Guard, who rid the prison of drugs, booze and weapons. OCCC was still overcrowded, even after Gov. George Ariyoshi’s $615,000 appropriation ($1.3 million in 2008 dollars), to build an additional 250-room dormitory. In 2008, the state proposed building a $9 million facility on Maui to deal with overcrowding.