From Our Files

March 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.



“What sort of place is this cluster of islands that hopes to be the 50th star in the stars-and-stripes drama?” questions Paradise of the Pacific, six months before Hawaii joined the ranks of the United States on Aug. 21. A sophisticated, civilized sort of place, it turns out. In 1959, Hawaii’s capital, urban Honolulu, was inhabited by 282,000 people, living in modern brick houses—not “little grass shacks.”

The city boasted nine radio and three television stations, plus the Academy of Arts, the University of Hawaii and the Honolulu Symphony. These institutions—and more—exist today. Our urban population was 375,571 in 2007.



HONOLULU talks story with actor Jack Lord during the peak of hit CBS show Hawaii  Five-O. Lord says that the show brings in one of every four tourists to the Islands, “a place of magnificent scenic beauty, bright sunshine, temperate climate … and a competent police force.” Lord, who directed a few episodes of Five-O, was also a painter. “I majored in fine arts and founded a Greenwich Village art school and sold three graphics to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before I graduated,” Lord tells HONOLULU. Lord passed away at age 77 of heart failure on Jan. 21, 1998, in his home in Kahala.



In February 1994, HONOLULU Magazine decided not to run The New York Times crossword due to space. Readers were outraged, sending in 108 letters of complaint, “No puzzle! What could be more important? Please send my puzzles immediately, I am devastated,” wrote one upset subscriber. The following month, to make it up, the magazine apologized, included an additional puzzle in the following issue and even talked to famed crossword editor, Will Shortz. “More than 50 million people do crosswords,” said Shortz. The magazine stopped running the puzzles in April 2002, in part to expand “From Our Files” to a full page.