From Our Files – August

HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific--chronicling the Islands since 1888.

Aug. 1921: Paradise of The Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine, reports on the previous month’s Fourth of July celebration, where more than 20,000 people turned out at Kapi‘olani Park, photo below. Coordinated by the American Legion and U.S. Army, the event featured an air show, military exhibitions and an array of contests, from tire changing to stake driving. “Perhaps one of the most conspicuous features of the whole gathering was the extraordinary number of automobiles parked in the sections set aside for them,” Paradise writes. “There are nearly 6,000 automobiles in Honolulu, and probably nearly all of these were gathered together on the great space at Kapi‘olani Park.” By 2004, the city and county of Honolulu reported more than 688,000 registered motor vehicles on O‘ahu.

Aug. 1946: Honolulu residents welcome back members of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team with much fanfare. The soldiers were greeted off port by a yacht carrying musicians, hula dancers and songstress Lena Machado, all of whom entertained the troops as their ship made its way to shore. On land, private cars whisked 442nd soldiers to ‘Iolani Palace, where they reunited with hundreds of family members and friends. This kind of military homecoming was a first in recent years, Paradise notes. “Because of strict military regulations, which banned public information about ship movements, Hawai‘i was unable during the war years to express its inimitable flair for aloha when troopships arrived or departed.”

Aug. 1981: HONOLULU Magazine interviews famed dance teacher Arthur Murray, who has lived on O‘ahu with his wife, Kathryn, since 1968. When HONOLULU asked Murray what he thought about disco dancing, he replied, “I did it for a while, but I prefer, when I’m dancing with a pretty girl, to hold her in my arms and not to have her six feet away. Swinging your arms around doesn’t require any talent or any knowledge of dancing. When I look at men over 25, they look ridiculous.” Murray died in 1991.