From Our Files

June archives

Our History

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.




Hui Manu, a bird society founded in 1930 to acclimatize exotic birds, introduces 1,000 cardinals to Oahu. “The brilliantly red cardinal seems a particularly fortunate selection, as few birds seem to fit into the tropic scene more effectively than this vividly colored bird,” observes Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. The bird was common in the eastern and southern United States. It had also recently been introduced in Bermuda, which has a similar climate to Hawaii. The birds were brought in from Mexico. “Observation has also proven that the cardinal is a fierce enemy of the Japanese rose beetle, cockroaches and small centipedes.” 



In 1955, 80 percent of the Islands’ visitors arrived by plane. Approximately 100 stewardesses flew with them into Honolulu International Airport each week. It was 25 years earlier that the position of female stewardess was created, noted Paradise. “Ellen Church presented the idea of feminine flight attendant to officials of Boeing Air Transport. Somewhat skeptical at first, the Boeing executives agreed to the novelty.” Hawaiian Airlines’ stewardesses were the first in Hawaii, introduced on interisland flights in 1943. To become stewardesses, women had to be unmarried U.S. citizens between the ages of 21 and 26, weigh no more than 135 pounds, be between 5-feet-2 to 5-feet-7 and have at least 20/40 vision.



“To his family and friends he’s Jesse Kahaulua, but to thousands of sumo fans in Japan, he is Takamiyama, the namesake not only of one of Japan’s highest mountains but of one of the country’s greatest 19th-century sumo wrestlers,” writes HONOLULU. The magazine sits down with Kahaulua, a 26-year-old Maui native, who is 6-foot-3 and 365 pounds. He grew up in Wailuku, had a large appetite and played football for Baldwin High School. In the off-season, Kahaulua took up sumo wrestling and trained with Isamu Ogasawara. After graduating high school and a stint with the Hawaii National Guard, he entered sumo competitions in Honolulu and eventually wrestled on the Mainland and in Japan. “Without question he is one of the most popular figures in Japan’s No. 1 sport.” 



“We do not expect the public to like everything we’re doing. But we do expect people to learn to become occupied with art,” says Alfred Preis, head of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA). Preis has been the planning coordinator of the SFCA since its inception in 1965. The Legislature stipulated that 1 percent of construction costs for a new building would go to new art. It was the first of its kind in the nation. “The role of the SFCA is to introduce into government and other active spaces the aspect of feeling, aesthetics.” He discusses “Skygate,” near Honolulu Hale and “The Fourth Sign,” (seen in photo above) on the UH campus. Preis retired in 1980. The SFCA is now on the second floor of the Hawaii State Art Museum.



Harry Kim spends most of his time looking after people in distress. In 1990, he was the Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator. Kim is the coordinator among federal, state, county and private agencies during times of disaster. And the Big Island has a track record of tsunamis and lava flows. Does the job ever get emotional? “I guarantee you that, whatever emergency we respond to, it’s not possible to be emotionally detached,” he says. Kim himself weathered a disaster—the 1960 tsunami. “I was a student at Hilo College. I lost several friends, everybody did.” Kim become the Big Island mayor in 2000 and was in office for two terms. 



Punahou School has a building named after him and an H-1 freeway off-ramp bears his name. But did you know that there is a train in Cuzco, Peru with his name? That’s because Hiram Bingham III, born and raised in Honolulu, also re-discovered the great, lost Incan city he dubbed Machu Picchu, or Old Peak. He made his discovery during three expeditions to Peru, between 1911 and 1916. “The desire to serve and the allure of remote places that had made missionaries of his father and grandfather would also manifest in Hiram III,” writes HONOLULU. However, he became an explorer, not a missionary. He later wrote a book about his work. Bingham passed away in 1957.