From Our Files: Moments from Hawai‘i’s Past–April Edition

A look back at Honolulu from April 1923 to 2003. Stories taken from the archives of Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.

King KalākauaOUR HISTORY

In 1888, King Kalākaua 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.




Aquarium 1923

San Francisco’s newly built Steinhart Aquarium will soon receive some colorful new additions. Hawaiian fish such as the hīnālea i‘iwi (pictured) and many others will take a boat ride from O‘ahu to San Francisco in Matson shipping containers specially designed with actively flowing warm saltwater tanks for the voyage. The aquarium also houses sea lions and large ocean fish, as well as freshwater critters such as salamanders, turtles and frogs in the swamp section. Hawai‘i’s fish, however, will take center stage, occupying 16 of the 57 tanks designated especially for them, complete with replica ocean coral landscapes.



Cherry Blossom Festival 1958

O‘ahu celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival in Honolulu. The sixth annual celebration will include a wide array of Japanese cultural events and activities, including Japanese dances, judo, tea ceremonies, trapeze demonstrations and doll-making classes.



Mu‘umu‘u make a fashion comeback as the dress representative of Hawai‘i’s culture and vibrance. Paradise says, “Clothes from the islands are not just wearing apparel. They are a bit of Hawai‘i and much of ‘Aloha.’” The multicolored palettes of mu‘umu‘u and multiple potential styles are a symbol of how our state can “become the little child that leads the rest of the world to harmonious living.”



Queen Lili'uokalani

An opera titled Mohailani is discovered in the Hawai‘i State Archives, written by someone with the pen name Madame Aorena. It turns out Madame Aorena is Queen Lili‘uokalani’s pen name, and historians are thrilled by the discovery of this opera. Elizabeth Tatar, ethnomusicologist at the Bishop Museum, writes, “This is a work of real historical significance.” Queen Lili‘uokalani’s serious yet satirical opera, HONOLULU writes, “is a cunning spoof of political doings.”



TheBus adds placards of Hawaiian phrases rotated monthly, with remarks such as “‘Ae, piha ‘o mua ne‘i” (“Yeah, it’s crowded up here”).



Hokulea 2003

After spending almost a year in dry dock, the Hōkūle‘a returns home to Honolulu Harbor. If weather permits, the Hōkūle‘a will set sail on a two-part journey: from the Big Island to Moloka‘i, back to O‘ahu and then to the less traveled Midway and Kure islands. HONOLULU says, “This voyage passes the torch to mariners of the new millennium.” Patrick Duarte, president and CEO of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, says the aim of the voyage is to “show a new generation of voyagers what unspoiled reef and island life looks like” and teach them to “assume responsibility for the stewardship of their islands.”



1923 cover 1958 cover 1978 cover





Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at