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

A look back at Honolulu from July 1900 to 2007. 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.




March 17: The first recorded traffic incident in the Territory happens at the intersection of South King Street and Kalākaua Avenue. There are only four cars in Honolulu.



Thomas Square Squad

July 4 marks the day the Republic of Hawai‘i came into being in 1894. Paradise recalls Hawai‘i’s “Republic Days” with some photos, this of the Honolulu Citizens’ Guard of the Thomas Square Squad in 1895.



Andy Bumatai

“The homestead plan for persons of Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian blood has been termed one of the more successful social experiments of the nation,” Paradise writes, 26 years after the program’s inception. “The Hawaiian on his homestead is not a ward of the government, as is the American Indian, but is an independent human being.” The Taylor family lives at Papakōlea, one of several homestead areas in the Islands. Along with 4,000 other homesteaders, their rent is $1 a year.



Nellie Keifer

Mrs. Nellie “Ma” Keifer of La Crosse, Wisconsin, visits Hawai‘i for the first time. Her trip is paid for by local Japanese veterans of World War II, whom she got to know 10 years prior. As one veteran wrote: “When soldiers from Hawai‘i were stationed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, they were distrusted and unwanted. Many were disillusioned. Their only fault was their racial ancestry and that of America’s then No. 1 enemy, Japan, were the same. In the midst of this, a handful of Americans reached out with understanding hearts and opened their homes to these friendly, homesick Niseis. The Keifers of La Crosse was one. … They welcomed the Niseis to their home, fed them home-cooked meals, and treated them as equals. This we will never forget!”



Did Wayne’s World get one of its popular catch phrases from Andy Bumatai? In 1988, Bumatai opened for Dana Carvey at the Sheraton Waikīkī Hotel. “I saw him in the wings, checking me out when I was on. All the good ones do that,” Bumatai says. He’d been using the pidgin exclamation “Not!” since he was a kid growing up in Kalihi and Wai‘anae. Not long after the show, the word started appearing in Carvey’s Saturday Night Live sketches.



Palani Vaughan

Hawaiian musician and historian Pālani Vaughan (who died last December) volunteers to clean up the ‘Iolani Palace grounds every day, throwing away beer bottles and cardboard boxes people leave behind. “This is a historic site,” he says. “That coronation stand is where King Kalākaua was crowned in 1883. In the garden area, there’s a concrete bench broken in half—Kapi‘olani composed songs there. Robert Wilcox led a rebellion here, after Kalākaua was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution. When you think back on these heroes to the Hawaiian people, what I’m doing is nothing. I’m just trying to protect what should obviously be protected.”



1937 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