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

A look back at Honolulu from April 1917 to 1982. 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.




With the U.S. at war and food prices rising, Paradise calls, possibly tongue-in-cheek, for the elimination of chewing gum: “It is not at all certain that the habit is not injurious.”



Honolulu is replete with modern stores,” brags Paradise of the Pacific. “The shopping center is to be found within a radius of three-quarters of a mile from the corners of Fort and King streets. … In women’s wear, there are many fine stores and the majority of these send a buyer at appropriate seasons of the year who selects the latest European and Parisian modes at the same time they are submitted in New York. … Men’s wear occupies a position equally enviable and stores are to be found where requisites for men are limited only by the customer’s ability to pay.”



Kaneohe Ranch Co.

​Kāne‘ohe Ranch Co. is building 1,500 new homes in three new residential Windward developments: Pū‘ōhala Village, Kalāheo Village and Ku‘ulei Village. You can lease a three-bedroom house for a down payment of $650 and monthly payments of $65. And, if you can afford a down payment of $2,250 and monthly payments of $125, “larger and more elaborate” homes are available, too.



Hula dancing

“Collegiate World—Polynesian Style: The easy, unrestrained harmony in the relationships of the Island students is so contagious few return to the Mainland without having caught it.”



Lucky Luck

“Lucky Luck’s image of a poi-devouring, pidgin-drawling, suck-’em-up kanaka has nothing to do with his private world,” reports HONOLULU. At his sprawling Aukai house, an entire wall of the dining room is covered with books on a wide variety of subjects, including Zen philosophy. And Luck and his wife maintain a formal living room with two registered French antiques—an ornate boule and an Empire sofa covered with lavender velvet. Two painted French arm chairs pick up the color in plaid Thai silk. He paints, too, including a vivid yellow-and-white abstract canvas.



Walter Ritte

In a Q&A with Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Walter Ritte—conducted out on the lawn outside the OHA offices at his request—HONOLULU asks about his views on tourists. “I hate tourists,” Ritte says. “Oh, I don’t hate the tourist person—I hate the industry. We have no control over that industry. It’s like a giant malignant cancer and it’s eating up all our beaches, all the places that are profound for our culture. … At least Capt. Cook gave us a nail—one nail for three pigs and caskets of water. They’re not even giving us the nail back. They’re not contributing to the essence of these Islands.”



1917 cover 1952 cover 1982 cover





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