What Honolulu Looked Like Between September 1934 and 1994

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.




Honolulu Rapid Transit Co. digs up 13 miles of streetcar tracks, making room for the new “Silver Fleet” of 22 Twin Coach gasoline buses, giving Honolulu the fastest streetcar and bus service in any city of comparable size. “To the Kama‘āina’s, many of whom remember vividly the mule tram cars in the days when Hawai‘i was yet a monarchy, the digging up of Honolulu’s street car tracks marks the end of an epic in a city which clings jealously to the romantic days of King Kamehameha,” William Swanson writes. Bus installation and track removal costs $292,000. The new $5.2 billion Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit rail system began installation in 2012.



➸ Three children are delighted by a horse at the Baldwin’s Haleakalā Ranch on Maui. “The territory considers horse-racing the king of sports and the Maui County Fair races are the high spot of the year,” Helen Berkey writes.

➸ Titled “Downhill Kalākaua,” Paradise’s commentary section bemoans the “shoddy [and] tasteless panoply” spreading throughout downtown Waikīkī and calls for higher standards. “Do they not realize that, unless the tawdry, the honky-tonk, the sleazy, the growing lack of taste are checked these qualities may very well engulf all that has been good at Waikīkī?”

➸ A Hawaiian garden is planted in the heart of New York City, requiring 1,000 pounds of fresh flowers to be sent weekly by air from Hawai‘i for the two-month-long exhibition.



HONOLULU remembers Kapoho town, lost to Pele in the eruption that began in 1959. Former Territorial senator Alice Kamokila Campbell had her vision of the goddess added to the state Senate record. “Mrs. Campbell said she had seen ‘a beautiful young woman standing on the embankment of [her] sacred pool. She wore a long flaming gown, and her jet-black hair hung down her back to her knees,’ and when recognized as Pele, disappeared,” Gladys Flanders writes. 



For our Restaurant Guide, veteran food writer John Heckathorn examines the history and transformation of local food from Captain Cook’s 1778 arrival to today’s “Hawai‘i regional cuisine.”  Heckathorn debunks the local running joke that only Filipinos eat dog: “Even Kalākaua, when he tired of multi-course banquets at his European-style palace, could repair to his Waikīkī beach house, recline on lauhala mats and eat dog and poi with his fingers.” But the one everlasting element of a local dining experience is undoubtedly Island hospitality. “The key to Hawaiian feasting was to serve so much food that guests would take leftovers home with them,” he writes.


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