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

A look back at Honolulu from April 1912 to 1957. 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.




Paradise of the Pacific defends Honolulu against some of the bad press it’s been getting. “We have quite our share of incompetence in public office, like other communities … Almost uninterruptedly we have our political rumpuses, involving the flinging of charges which might make the uninformed think that conditions here were pretty bad. But the records and results show that, after all, things are pretty well managed here. Honolulu is a good place to live in.”



Amelia Earhart

Paradise lauds aviator Amelia Earhart, who in March landed at Wheeler Field on O‘ahu, completing the first span of her planned circumnavigation of the globe. She is the “first woman to pilot plane from Mainland to Hawai‘i. A new record created.” Earhart ran into trouble while attempting to take off again, two days later—one of her plane’s shock absorbers collapsed, sending the left propeller into the runway. “Only a postponement of my flight,” she says.



Diamond head surfers

“Heinie’s Tavern, Diamond Head, surf riders and the beach at Waikīkī.”



Schofield experiment

Brig. Gen. Wayne C. Smith, commanding officer of Schofield Barracks, writes in praise of the equitable “Schofield Experiment.” “The world today, more than ever before in history, is keenly aware of the necessity of teaching the peoples of the earth that they must learn to appreciate each other and to be tolerant of national, racial and religious differences.”  He notes that the military base includes residents of “all racial extractions and religions,” saying, “Here in the Redlands, we have accepted as a fundamental principle of American democracy … that all men are created equal under law. … We have not publicized these facts, for they seemed so basically sound and normal that no comment appeared necessary or appropriate.”



A one-way fare on the S.S. Leilani from Honolulu to Los Angeles is $115, and takes 6 days.



Pan pacific festival

Three women sing as part of the Pan-Pacific Festival at UH Mānoa.



1917 cover 1947 cover 1957 cover





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