From Our Files: What Honolulu Looked Like Between April 1925 and 2005

A look back at Honolulu from April 1925 to 2005. 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.





Visitors of the Volcano House on the Big Island watch the column of smoke and ash from Halema‘uma‘u Crater rise a mile into the air.



Diamond Head Crater opens to the public for the first time since it was purchased by the federal government in 1904. It is suggested as a site for the Olympic Games, an amphitheater for Aloha Week pageantry, performances by the Honolulu Community Theatre and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. “The parks board is studying the possibility of bridle paths and trails from the crater floor to lookout points on the rim,” Paradise writes. It’s also ideal for outdoor events, because “it has less rainfall than almost any other section of O‘ahu.”



“Waking people in the morning and lulling them to sleep at night have long been chores delegated to our feathered friends,” Kay Winfield writes. “And though the mynahs have probably been a bit perplexed at the size and shape of the two new birds in the banyan tree in Waikīkī, they have apparently decided to move over and make room for the Bird’s Nest Broadcasters.” Winfield is referring, of course, to J. Akuhead Pupule (pictured) and Ed Sheehan, radio hosts in the International Market Place’s broadcasting studio, a tree house situated above the woodcarvers, waterfall, shops and restaurants that make the market a true destination for locals and visitors alike.



“Have our planners considered the need for concrete freeways and hotels out by Sunset Beach simply to keep O‘ahu from tilting?”—Commentary



“I really became physically sick at the thought of unilaterally invading a Middle Eastern country that had not done anything to the United States,” says Ann Wright, who, after serving 29 years in the Army and Foreign Service, resigned in opposition to the Iraq War. Now living in Hawai‘i, she says she’s pleased with the activism here and the number of organizations involved in international affairs. “A lot of people are very concerned about the war here … even though this is a big military state. These men and women who’ve come back from the Middle East put their lives on the line, and they sincerely hope they’ve been asked to do the right thing.” In 2015, Wright protested outside of President Barack Obama’s vacation home, and is currently advocating for reduction of the Army’s presence in Hawai‘i.



Professor David Stannard, author of a book on the Massie case, says the affair started a multiethnic solidarity movement in the Islands, uniting “locals,” rather than just people within their own ethnicities, for the first time.






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


Read more stories by Katrina Valcourt