From Our Files: March

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.



“I’m healthier than I’ve ever been before,” Hawaiian music legend Israel Kamakawiwoole tells HONOLULU. After suffering heart failure in 1989 and being too overweight to walk, Iz “banished Oreo cookies to Neverland, cut all fat from his diet, and indulges in fish, vegetables and complex carbohydrates,” writes HONOLULU. The dietary adjustment came at the same time as other big life-changers: In 1993, he left the group The Makaha Sons of Niihau and released a new album on his own label, Big Boy Record Co. That album, Facing Future, has since gone platinum and is the best-selling album by a Hawaiian music artist of all time. “I’ll be around for a long time,” Iz says. Sadly, he passed away three years later at the age of 38.


“Many an Island dancer would give a carload of poi if Johnny Frisbie would consent to teach her the Frisbie-styled Tahitian dance,” Paradise praises the 21-year-old Florence Frisbie. (Her nickname comes from her father, Robert Dean Frisbie, who was aboard a schooner carrying a cargo of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky when she was born.) “Here is a girl who is in great demand and can write her own ticket at any Island night club and many Mainland clubs, but prefers to dance just for relaxation and pleasure whenever the mood strikes her.”

Writer Tony Todaro goes on to laud the precocious young woman for also writing an autobiography, Miss Ulysses From Puka-Puka, at age 15, and calls her “a rare gem from the depths of the Southern Seas.”

“Honolulu zoo is the only American zoo having even one [Japanese] sacred crane,” writes Paradise. The zoo’s two baby cranes are “believed to be the only ones of their kind surviving birth in captivity.”


The cover of the March issue depicts a carnival scene in Honolulu, even though there hadn’t been a carnival held here in years. “More than ever is there a reason for a revival … of our grand Mid-Pacific carnival,” Paradise proclaims, “with its typically Hawaiian exhibits, its presentation of ancient customs and ancient Hawaiian life, together with the more modern and spectacular features.” By the 1930s, Hawaii had become well known as a “Paradise of the Pacific,” with 20,000 annual visitors locals were eager to entertain. Among those visitors? Babe Ruth, photographed for this issue with his wife, along with fellow ball player Herb Hunter and his wife, Gov. Lawrence M. Judd, secretary Raymond C. Brown, and Duke Kahanamoku.