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

A look back at Honolulu from February 1931 to 1986. Stories taken from the archives of Paradise of the Pacific and HONOLULU Magazine.

Our 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.





Mrs. Kahaunaele Wainee, born on Maui around the same time as Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838), photographed by Theodore Kelsey.




The Royal Hawaiian Hotel celebrates the beginning of its 10th year in operation with a new main ballroom, the Blue Peacock room, which has been decorated with gold walls and a blue silk ceiling. There’s also a new cocktail bar, “outdoor dancing facilities,” coral rock gardens and more. “The Blue Peacock room was thrown open at a special dance and fashion parade, revealing the latest Mainland and European styles,” Paradise writes. This photo of the hotel was altered to bring the mountains closer to the ocean, “to give a clearer idea of the handsome hostelry’s inspiring background.”






Ronald Deisseroth is the first to consistently grow mushrooms commercially in Hawai‘i, in an abandoned military tunnel on the Windward Side. Even as a hobby, in 1960 he supplied 6,000 pounds of mushrooms to the Pali Palms Hotel, the Gourmet and Tahitian Lanai restaurants, Foodland and Times.



Sean Casey, 5, is not proud to be half Japanese, he says in Paradise’s series on racial attitudes in Hawai‘i. His brother, Leo, 10, has accepted it, but was often embarrassed when he first made friends at school and, when they came over, mistook their Japanese mother as the maid. “Most of the hard-core racial prejudices which once existed in Hawai‘i have been dissipated by the changing economic and social patterns which emerged in post-World War II years,” the magazine writes, but, “for kids, being part of any losing team is the ‘most worst.’”



Bill Harby checks out a new dance club, Pink Cadillac, in Waikīkī: “Even taking the sun and peroxide into account, how could there possibly be so many stuck-up teenagers with blond hair all in one place?” he writes. “The snotty, laced Madonna clones seemed to ooze from the dark corners. The skinny boys, with their long wedge of forelock slapping their eyes, flounced back and forth bumming cigarettes from each other.

“It was disgusting. I loved it.”



“Kalihi is the Brooklyn of Hawai‘i. It breeds youth gangs, career criminals—and governors, judges, university professors and entertainers.”






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