From Our Files: Moments from Hawai‘i’s Past–February Edition
A look back at Honolulu from February 1922 to 1987. Stories taken from the archives of Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.
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 devotes the bulk of its February issue to covering the funeral of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole. According to Hawaiian custom, the body of an ali‘i must only be moved at night, and Paradise witnesses the procession carrying Kalaniana‘ole’s remains from Pualeilani to Kawaiaha‘o Church. “Nothing could have rendered that midnight pilgrimage of the dead anything but spectacular and profoundly impressive. The distance traversed by the cortege was all of three miles, and several of the marchers were close to the century mark in years. Devotion kept them afoot. And the silence! It is difficult to believe that a long procession could cover that distance without a sound other than the guarded tread of feet. Not a whisper from people who are wont to make frank display of emotion. Evidently there is truth in that tradition of secrecy.”
After the long deprivations of World War II, Honolulu is returning to its carefree tropical pursuits. “Bronze gods of the sea are once more riding the waves of Waikīkī, guiding the visitor on the tricky surfboard … giving the typical Island touch known to visitors from around the world.”
The largest buyer of fresh vegetables in Hawai‘i is the Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, purchasing $850,000 in produce.
Lecturer and law writer Hyman Greenstein pens a guest essay for HONOLULU Magazine calling for the legalization of marijuana. “The time has come for Hawai‘i and the federal government to recognize that marijuana is not a harmful drug … that it is part of the culture of millions of our youth. … I can foresee cultivation of pot for Hawai‘i replacing a sick sugar industry, and its restoration to the armamentarium of drugs and medicines, where it belongs.”
HONOLULU editor Brian Nicol takes an extensive look at Hawai‘i’s pervasive culture of gambling. “Gambling games are not limited to the downtown area. Waikīkī hotel suites, plush private clubs and residential homes are scenes of elaborate casinolike operations, complete with extras like drinks, food, movies and women. In fact, the biggest money in town probably changes hands in those private card games in the private clubs. Chinatown, however, remains the center of Hawai‘i’s gambling universe.”
HONOLULU runs a photo essay by FL Morris called “Portraits of Hotel Street,” capturing the faces and personalities of the notorious district. “Art galleries, boutiques and offices are springing up along Hotel Street and its tributaries. … Gradual gentrification of the area seems certain. Yet despite the changes and plans, much remains the same.”
Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.
READ MORE STORIES BY MICHAEL KEANY