What Honolulu Looked Like Between 1924 and 1999

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.




“Contented cows, among dignified coconuts, serenely contemplate an impossible boy climbing a preposterous pineapple,” writes Paradise in “Small Slice of Earlier Paradise-Pineapple History.” This fun photo represents the pineapple industry’s short-lived yet everlasting influence on the Islands. Spaniard Don Francisco de Paula Marin provides the first record of pineapple planting in his 1813 diary, although wild pineapples grew centuries earlier. Pineapple popularity picked up speed in the 1880s, when English horticulturist John Kidwell planted the first 5-acre plantation in Mānoa Valley. James D. Dole then formed the Hawaiian Pineapple Co. in 1901, leading Hawai‘i’s pineapples to world-market domination in the 1930s, but the industry fell rapidly in the ’60s and by the 2000s was almost nonexistent.


President Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor hang out in the “cool apartments” in the older section of Kīlauea Volcano on the Big Island.



Paradise recounts the origin of the Honolulu Community Chest, Hawai‘i’s first community-wide federated fundraising drive: “The purpose of the plan was two-fold: to raise funds each year by community-wide appeal, and to promote social welfare and health by coordinating all programs into one unified campaign.” Its opening campaign, “Wikiwiki Kōkua,” raised $186,000 for 17 charities in 1919. The chest became the Aloha United Fund in 1966, and later the Aloha United Way in 1974.

Waikīkī hotel rooms run as low as $5 a day. In 2014, the average daily rate for an O‘ahu hotel is $239.



“Being society’s designated nurturers, as women are, cuts both ways,” Melissa Ching Benjamin writes in the inaugural women’s issue of HONOLULU. “On one hand, it’s harder for women to focus on a job or serious pursuit, distracted as they are by the needs of their families and personal relationships. On the other hand, now more than ever, society permits women to reinvent themselves many times in the course of their lives.” The “Smart Women, Tough Choices” feature examines the lives of six local women and how they faced the all-too-common dilemma of choosing between a career and family, or balancing both. 

“So a women’s issue it was. But then we had one big problem: We’re a bunch of men. What did we know?” Editor John Heckathorn on the decision to create the first HONOLULU women’s issue.





Learn more about the evolution of covers in Honolulu Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.