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

A look back at Honolulu from March 1923 to 2013. 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.




The Hawai‘i attorney general draws up a bill at the request of a Big Island representative that makes it a misdemeanor to drive while intoxicated.



Hawaii 1953

The 364-unit Mayor Wright Homes opens as Honolulu’s third low-rent public-housing project, replacing what was described as a “formerly blighted area” near Liliha.



Aloha Tower 1958

Aloha Tower is described as “the nerve center of the entire Honolulu harbor,” towering over the surrounding buildings and downtown Honolulu. Plans for the 10-floor tower were completed in 1920 to house the Port Authority offices and the harbor pilot. In 1926, a 5,500-candlepower light was placed on top of the green structure and could be seen from 19 miles out at sea.



Hawaiian Telephone 1968

In this 1968 advertisement, Hawaiian Telephone boasts long-distance calling to the Mainland at a whopping $3.75 per call. “Traveling by long distance is such a practical way to go visiting,” the advertisement says.



Island fashion 1988

“Made In Hawai‘i” explores the Islands’ evolving fashion—from tapa, malo and the feather cloak to mu‘umu‘u and aloha shirts. The city allowed its employees to wear open-collar shirts in the late 1940s. But HONOLULU notes that The Honolulu Advertiser helped to pioneer wearing aloha shirts to work in the 1950s, saying the newspaper’s only rule was “Keep ’em clean and tuck ’em in.”



HONOLULU Magazine looks at alternative energy sources being considered in the Islands, including burned landfill gas and wood chips, windmill farms, and rooftop solar panels on warehouses and homes.



Merrie Monarch 2013

A few of the thousands of people involved in the Merrie Monarch reflect on the festival’s historic and cultural significance in honor of its 50th year. “Hula is the artery that keeps the ancients and the moderns in communication,” says Taupouri Tangaro, a hula professor and humanities chair at Hawai‘i Community College in Hilo.



1928 cover 1958 cover 1968 cover





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