Duke has a hard name to pronounce… 1918.

WHEN IT COMES TO A SWIMMING RACE, Duke Kahanamoku is as hard to beat as his name is to pronounce, and then some. Experts say this world’s champion is the last word of perfection in sprint swimming.

(Evening Public Ledger, 8/24/1918, p. 20)


Evening Public Ledger and The Evening Telegraph, Volume IV, Number 294, Page 20. August 24, 1918.

Duke on the American Olympic Team, 1912.


Duke Kahanamoku.

Athletes of the United States are looking to Duke Kahanamoku, full-blooded Hawaiian, as the only man on the Olympic team from this country who has a chance to win a place in the swimming events.

Kahanamoku is one of the best swimmers ever developed in Hawaii. The warm waters there make it possible to spend the whole day in the surf without becoming chilled, and from childhood the Hawaiians swim more than they walk, that is the younger ones do.

Duke has been tried out repeatedly and his speed and endurance won him a place on Uncle Sam’s Olympic team.

(Day Book, 7/3/1912, p. 29)


The Day Book, Volume 1, Number 240, Page 29. July 3, 1912.

Duke Kahanamoku Off to Hollywood, 1936.

Kahanamoku Asks to Go to the Land of the Haole

Duke Kahanamoku [Kuke Kahanamoku] submitted his request to the Board of Supervisors [Papa Lunakiai] to allow him to go with John Ford [Keoni Ford], a director [lunanui] of a movie company in Hollywood, to the land of the haole and to take a leave until the 7th of January of next year.

During his leave from his office, Charles H. Rose [Kale H. Rose] will take care of all of his duties.

(Alakai o Hawaii, 11/19/1936, p. 3)

Noi O Kahanamoku E Holo I Ka Aina Haole

Ke Alakai o Hawaii, Buke 9, Helu 33, Aoao 3. Novemaba 19, 1936.

Duke donating time to make warm clothing, 1918.

In this picture is seen Duke P. Kahanamoku, the swimming champion of Hawaii nei making warm clothing in his spare time on the shore of Waikiki. The young girl watching him is named Miss Kathryn Jackson of Kalakaua Avenue who heard much of Kahanamoku going to make clothes, and she thus wanted to see it for herself.

(Kuokoa, 4/5/1918, p.1)

Ma keia kii e ikeia ana o Duke P. Kahanamoku...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVI, Helu 14, Aoao 1. Aperila 5, 1918.

Duke saves lives, 1925.


Because of the brave and fearless rescue carried out by Duke P. Kahanamoku, the famous swimming champion of the world, just recently at Newport, California, in saving the lives of eight people from death, he was sent a gift of a medal to honor him, last Wednesday with a letter from Governor Farrington.

The news of this rescue carried out by Duke P. Kahanamoku arrived in this town, therefore,  some people of Honolulu donated a sum of money to purchase a medal to present to him.

This presentation medal was sent along with a letter from the governor to Lorrin Andrews, living in Los Angeles, as the president of the Hawaiian Club of South California [Kalapu Hawaii ma Kalepooni Hema], and from that club the gift will be given to Mr. Kahanamoku.

[I noticed today’s post by Bishop Museum announcing their upcoming exhibit on this hero, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku!]

(Kuokoa, 8/27/1925, p. 4)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXIV, Helu 35, Aoao 4. Augate 27, 1925.

The Kawaihau Glee Club, 1904.

[Found under: “SOCIETY”]

The famous Kawaihau club, now reorganized under Charles Hopkins, who has done so much for Hawaiian music, and which has delighted society with its playing from the time of Kalakaua until now, gives, under the patronage of the Princess Kawananakoa, a dance at the Young Hotel on Friday evening next for which tickets are on sale at the drug stores, Wall Nichols, McInerny’s and Wichman’s.

Eighteen first class musicians, players and singers both, will give dancers a treat never before planned on such a scale. The musicians of the club are: Major Kealakai, Charles Palikapu, Sam Nainoa, John Edwards, John K. Nahaolelua, George K. Nahaolelua, Z. Kapule, Solomon Hiram, Jim Shaw, Jim Kulolia, Joe Kulolia, H. Keaweamahi, H. Paakea, Duke Kahanamoku, William H. Keawe, Ben Jones, Kalani Peters, and the program starting with a grand march at 8:30, and including a schotische and medley, reads as follows:

1.  Grand March and Waltz ….. Amistad
2.  Two Step ….. Hula o Makee
3.  Waltz ….. Wahikaahuula (Princess Kawananakoa)
4.  Two Step ….. Manoa Anuanu Wau
5.  Waltz ….. Waialae
6.  Two Step ….. He Manao
7.  Waltz ….. Hiu No Wau
8.  Two Step ….. Maunaloa

Ten Minutes Intermission.

9.  Waltz ….. Ko Leo
10. Schottische ….. Koni Au Ika Wai
11.  Two Step ….. Tomi, Tomi
12.  Waltz ….. Pulu Pe Ike Anu
13.  Two Step ….. Ai Aka Honehone Ana
14.  Medley ….. E Maliu Mai


1.  Two Step ….. Waikiki Mermaid
2.  Waltz ….. Halona
3.  Two Step ….. Lau Vabine
4.  Waltz ….. Puu o Hulu

Sonny Cunha is to be floor manager.

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 6/19/1904, p. 6)

The famous Kawaihau club...

Sunday Advertiser, Volume II, Number 77, Page 6. June 19, 1904.

Tragedy shaping Duke Kahanamoku, 1910.


In the afternoon of this past Sunday at perhaps 4 or so, while a group of young children were swimming ocean side of the Moana Hotel, there was a youngster swimming with them by the name of John A. Aguiar, a 12 years old Portuguese child. While this crowd of children were surfing and playing in the ocean, a group of them swam out to a bunch of boards floating in the ocean, and when they reached this heap of boards, the boy was with them, the one amongst them who was tired out from being buffeted and overwhelmed by the waves. After resting and regaining their breath, they all returned back to the shore, and the Aguiar boy amongst them swam all the way to Seaside Hotel; he had not swam very far when he called out for help.  His swimming friends thought that this was him joking, so they paid him no attention.

When these children came ashore, one of their fellow children asked about Aguiar, and this is what some of them said. “He was calling for help. Why didn’t you help him?” They said, “It was probably Aguiar’s fooling around.” But because Aguiar’s clothes were found laying out, it was realized that this boy was lost.

This Monday morning, the body of this child was found in the shallows near the Moana Hotel by Duke Kahanamoku, Jr. There were no bruises on his body except for the ears where it was nibbled and nipped at by the small fish of the shore.

In Monday evening, his funeral was performed with sadness, regret, and aloha of the his family and friends.

[Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Duke was so involved in water safety and rescue. And if anyone is motioning or calling for help in the water, don’t assume that they are playing around!]

(Kuokoa Home Rula, 8/12/1910, p. 3)


Kuokoa Home Rula, Buke VIII, Helu 32, Aoao 3. Augate 12, 1910.



Iolani Palace open to the public, 1938.

The Crown Room of Iolani Palace Opened

This is the only Crown Room in the United States of America, and it is a reminder of the days when it was under the rule of the kings and queens of Hawaii nei. The appearance of the crown room these days is like that of the times of the monarchs.

This past week, the crown room of the Iolani Palace was opened once again, and it was opened to the public; Governor Poindexter and Secretary Hite [of the Citizens’ Council] opened the doors of that crown room. There were many who arrived there for the opening.

Amongst the chants [na olioli ame na kanaenae] of the ancient Hawaiians, there were eyes misted with tears with memories of the days of the monarchy, and there was also the sweet sound of the Royal Hawaiian Band [Bana Hawaii]; there were hundreds of people lined up in the only crown room in all the United States. This tour was led by Mrs. Eugenia Reis, moi of the Daughters and Sons of Hawaiian Warriors, and in attendance were the members of her association and seven other Hawaiian associations. Continue reading

Duke denied, 1913.


That gift was given to Duke Kahanamoku, given by the multitudes of Honolulu, that being land and a house. Duke Kahanamoku is being required to return  it, or his title of the Swimming Champion of the World will be no more, as a result of a rule just approved by the A. A. U. [Amateur Athletic Union] Association of San Francisco, California; but it is believed that this rule does not apply to this gift of land and a house to Duke Kahanamoku being that it was given to Duke Kahanamoku a month ago, before this astonishing rule was approved.

Duke Kahanamoku is left without a home. According to the rule of the A. A. U. Association, it says in general: “There shall be no special gifts given in the islands to Duke Kahanamoku from others. Duke Kahanamoku shall not be allowed to take gifts over $35, as stated in the rules of the A. A. U. Association.” And this association has authority to set rules of such nature.

Should this be true, then this is a shameless act and misplaced envy; and on what authority can this be disallowed, for  the gift is from the people and not from the Association, or Swimming Groups of California; it is from the people of Honolulu nei; it is a memorial and a gift from them to the Swimming Champion of the whole world.

This restriction is something so very contemptible; perhaps could it be because Duke Kahanamoku is Hawaiian that these terribly degrading restrictions were placed, because they knew that there would be no swimmer to triumph over Duke Kahanamoku, being that he is breaking his own records with no one else placing before the Duke of Waikiki.

(Holomua, 12/20/1913, p. 1)


Ka Holomua, Buke I, Helu 12, Aoao 1. Dekemaba 20, 1913.

More from Duke Kahanamoku and the Olympics, 1912.



The news which had the town’s people in an uproar this past Monday was the news received by cable from Hamburg, Germany on that day, saying that Duke Kahanamoku could swim the distance of a hundred meters in a minute and a fifth of a second, which is the fastest time, not achieved by any other contender of the world.

Duke Kahanamoku holds the title of champion of the world for this distance of one hundred meters which he swam at Stockholm, Sweden, with a time of sixty-two and two-fifth seconds, but this record was broken by he himself, by two and one-fifth seconds, which has the people in town sure that he can swim this distance within sixty seconds, or a minute.

From that cable which arrived from Hamburg, Honolulu’s people can see that Kahanamoku is touring other lands before turning back to Hawaii.

This is the cable that was sent, telling of the joyful news to Hawaii’s people about Kahanamoku.

Hamburg, Germany. July 22—Today, Duke Kahanamoku, Jr. of Honolulu once again received the title of champion of the world in the 100 meter race held in the Olympic games. This is a new time for this distance, in a meet held here, in which many old-time athletes were invited. Kahanamoku swam the 100 meter race in one minute and a fifth of a second, which breaks his very own time of a minute two and two-fifth seconds which was gotten at Stockholm in a match for the championship.

(Kuokoa, 7/26/1912, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLVIII, Helu 30, Aoao 1. Iulai 26, 1912.