From Our Files

March 2005



March 1920:

This peculiar cover of the March 1920 issue of Paradise of the Pacific, left, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine, celebrates the Shrin-ers’ Happyland Circus and Funfest, an annual three-day event in Honolulu commemorating Washington’s birthday. The Shriners of North America, a fraternity known for its trademark red fezzes, was established in the late 19th century in New York as part of the Masonic movement. In 1922, the organization began building orthopedic hospitals for children—the first in Shreveport, La., and the second in Honolulu on Punahou Street in 1923. Today, there are nearly 2,000 members of Shriners’ Aloha Temple, its Hawaii chapter.


March 1945:

On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army took over Punahou School, transforming the Makiki campus into a headquarters for more than 50,000 soldiers. The photo on the next page, top left shows temporary buildings constructed by the military during World War II. Teachers held classes in makeshift classrooms—a neighborhood resident’s garage and a nearby chapel, for example—until the school rented space at the University of Hawaii. “Staying away so long has been a deprivation, and going back is going to be good; but still better, from the point of view of the teachers and pupils, is the sense of having sacrificed a little something to push the war to its conclusion,” notes Paradise. Students returned to their campus in the fall of 1945.



March 1955:

Hundreds of Island children flock to cotillions at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel each month, reports Paradise of the Pacific. “They don’t trip the light fantastic anymore, not this upcoming generation,” writes Paradise, photo top right. “As in what they call the olden times,’ they do begin with a waltz, but dancing school, 1955, is spiced with new antics, and quickly: a thing called Bunny Hop.’”



March 1960:

The small, rural town of Kapoho avoided disaster twice—once in 1955 and again in 1959—when Kilauea lava flows came dangerously close to its perimeter. But its luck ran out on Jan. 13, 1960, when “a mile-long fissure opened within a few hundred yards of Kapoho village, and fire raced to the stars in a dozen places,” writes Paradise of the Pacific, photo far right. “Seven hundred and fifty acres were covered the first week. … One by one the storefronts succumbed to the licking tongues of lava. … Millions of orchid plants had been destroyed, and 25 percent of Puna’s famed papaya crop was eliminated. There was not to be a single habitable residence saved.”



March 1980:

Nainoa Thompson, photo below, readies for the third voyage of the Hokulea. Thompson was a crew member of the Hokulea’s 1976 maiden voyage to Tahiti and back, but he made history again in 1980, when, at age 26, he became the first Hawaiian to navigate a voyaging canoe in more than 600 years.

“Non-instrument navigators—who rely solely on stars, wave swells and so on to determine their position in the ocean—are practitioners of an ancient but dying art,” notes HONOLULU Magazine.