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An update on the Pearl Harbor library situation

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

I talked to NPS superintendent Paul DePrey today, and he was more encouraging about the Arizona Memorial/Pacific Historic Parks library situation. He was careful to point out that there is a difference between what they call the “library” and what they house in their “collection,” which are the artifacts, documents and other ephemera being preserved by park curators and historians.
According to DePrey, the library was simply some reference books they kept on hand for the in-house use of the staff. Although this is largely gone, they do still have some volumes, but DePrey says they’re nothing special, just generic Pearl Harbor books.
The collection, on the other hand, is boxed up and placed into deep storage at the Pacific Historic Parks warehouse. There is a plan afoot to house these items eventually in the new NOAA structure being constructed on Ford Island, along with NOAA’s own library. This is at least a couple of years off. So if you need to do research, hold your horses, and get a day pass to Ford Island, which isn’t easy for civilians. But there’s a plan in place, they say, never fear.
As for the library shelving and such, DePrey said that what was tossed wasn’t worth keeping, and the good stuff found homes elsewhere in the park. I’m hearing, though, that other office materials were canned. Government regs require an inventory and estimated value of disposed items, and it might be interesting to see what was dumpstered.

CellPhoto: Kaneohe Infamy

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I delivered a talk this morning at a symposium of Pearl Harbor attack historians — it’s being broadcast on CSPAN — and then plopped down in the front row to hear Mike Wenger’s presentation on the assault on NAS Kaneohe. Great stuff.

I’ll add it to my CV

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Well, there I was, reviewing the Blu-Ray restoration of “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and casually checking out the supplementary materials, and there, in the production credit for “Hollywood Backstory — Tora! Tora! Tora!” was my name. I had totally forgotten that I’d contributed to this back in 2001. And oops, Art Wildern’s name is misspelled.

A roomful of Pearl Harbor nerds

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

This is the bustling batch of Pearl Harbor historians gathered in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center theater Friday night, as we were briefed on what to expect during the 70th anniversary of the attack. Alas, Parks Stephenson, Jim Delgado and Dave Aiken are AWOL this year.

Sunday Matinee: Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands

Sunday, October 9th, 2011


Monday, July 25th, 2011

A human skull was discovered in Pearl Harbor by dredgers in April. The Navy kept the discovery quiet until last week, passing on the find to the JPAC Central Identification Lab, which, by luck, is located at Hickam Air Force Base next door. Speculation has exploded that the skull belongs a Japanese casualty of the attack.
Skull finds are always interesting. Here in Hawaii, anything found to be human has increased sensitivity due to traditional Hawaiian concerns about the iwi, or bone remains. Japanese Shinto believers, such as many of the Imperial Navy’s pilots, also have a great deal of reverence for the remains of those fallen in battle. Those of European descent are much less bone-smitten, finding the bones to be primarily of scientific curiosity rather than religious value.
Skulls are relatively fragile items. We have no idea of the condition the skull is in, whether it included the mandible or other in situ items, or even where in Pearl Harbor it was discovered. Forensic anthropologists can age, race and sex bones in a matter of minutes. For example, the forehead boss on a skull — the thickness of the cranial shell in the forehead area — is a bit thicker on folks of Asian heritage. (This is why Asians are sometimes called “flat-faced,” as their foreheads don’t slope back as much as Europeans. Negroid peoples have a slightly thicker skull at the back of the head, in the occiput, giving the head a bit rounder look.) This is all very general, but it’s the second thing physical anthropologists or forensic pathologists look for. The first thing is dentition. Does the skull have any dental work? If so, that means it’s relatively modern, and the type of dental work will not only indicate the era, but likely the country of origin as well.
I’m going off on this because “journalist” Malia Zimmerman states flatly in one of her HawaiiReporter.com postings that the skull likely belongs to Japanese pilot Fusata Iida. She gives no reasoning behind this, except to refer to Iida as a “notorious kamikaze pilot.” (The headline has since been changed to call him simply a “Japanese pilot,” but the link wording remains.) This is conflative reasoning of the highest order.
For one thing, to become notorious, you need to build a rep by doing things more than once.
For two things, the kamikaze concept wasn’t hatched until the fall of 1944, three years after the Pearl Harbor attack. (A6M2 Zero pilots hitting Hawaii were ordered not to let their planes fall into enemy hands under any circumstances, which including deliberately crashing your plane and yourself with it if you were unable to recover from battle damage. But that’s not how kamikazes worked.)
For three things, of all the 55 Imperial Navy deaths recorded during the Pearl Harbor attack, none is better known than that of Fusata Iida. Hit while strafing Naval Air Station Kaneohe, he crashed on the ramp. He was given a burial with full military honors by the Americans, and after the war, his remains were returned to Japan. Presumably with his head attached.
NAS Kaneohe is more than 10 miles from Pearl Harbor. Pretty Good trick.
There ARE missing Japanese remains from the Dec. 7 attack. Some stricken planes were downed in the harbor. There’s also a missing “midget” submarine. But there are also hundreds of American casualties at the bottom of the harbor still. And there’s always the grim possibility that the skull, if it really is Japanese, was a souvenir from the horrific fighting in the Pacific War, and simply disposed of by dropping it into the harbor after the war.
Anything’s possible. Well, not anything. The skull is not Iida’s. For a writer to claim that it is is the height of historical irresponsibility. It’s called checking your sources. Facts are not slippery, nor subject to interpretation.

The Long Dance of the Dailies:
A Honolulu Star-Bulletin Timeline

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Feb. 1, 1882 — Henry Whitney, who had founded the Pacific Commercial Advertiser some years before, began placing a “Daily Bulletin” in the window of James Robertson’s Honolulu waterfront stationery store. It’s such a sensation that Robertson bought the concept from Whitney and hired him as editor of Hawaii’s first successful daily newspaper.

One of the first editors of the Daily Bulletin was Lorrin A. Thurston, another missionary descendent and foe of Hawaii’s royal government. After Thurston left the Bulletin, he became secretary of the Hawaiian Gazette, an anti-royal weekly newspaper.

In 1888, the Gazette entered into a joint operating agreement with the now-daily Advertiser and Whitney returned to run it, remaining five years.

March 28, 1893 — Two months after Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown, businessman Joseph Ballard Atherton founded the Hawaiian Star as a mouthpiece for the provisional government.

July 4, 1894 — The Republic of Hawaii was established, and Whitney’s successor as Advertiser editor was New Englander Wallace Rider Farrington. While Farrington edited the Advertiser, it was purchased by Lorrin Thurston. Disagreeing with Advertiser policies, Farrington became editor of the competing Daily Bulletin.

Jan. 1, 1900 — During the burning of Chinatown because of plague fears, power to the Hawaiian Star’s presses were cut. The staff rallied with an extra edition, single sheets printed on a hand-cranked press.

1908 — Charles H. Atherton purchased controlling interest in the Hawaiian Star.

July 1, 1912 — The Hawaiian Star and Evening Bulletin merged to form the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Riley Allen became editor. Joseph Ballard Atherton and sons Charles H. and Frank Cooke became owners of the Star-Bulletin, the latter becoming the first Star-Bulletin president. Wallace Farrington became vice president and general business manager.

June 2, 1921 — Thanks to his tireless pro-America boosterism, Wallace Farrington was appointed territorial governor.

Jan. 1, 1924 — Joseph Farrington, Wallace’s son, became Star-Bulletin managing editor.

1925 — The Honolulu Star-Bulletin bought the Hilo Tribune-Herald, operating it from afar until the Big Island paper was divested to Donrey Media in 1964. It became the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

July 6, 1929 — After Wallace Farrington completed eight years as territorial governor, Frank Cooke Atherton turned control of the paper over to Farrington, who was named president and publisher.

Oct. 6, 1933 — Wallace Farrington died at 62. The following year, son Joseph Farrington became Star-Bulletin president and general manager.

July 26, 1934 — President Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to visit Hawaii while in office, and the Star-Bulletin published a 118-page special edition to commemorate the visit.

Aug. 23, 1940 — The Star-Bulletin reported that postmasters throughout the territory were to prepare to register and fingerprint 30,000 aliens and Filipino nationals under federal Alien Registration Act.

Dec. 7, 1941 — On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Star-Bulletin published its most famous extra, as editor Riley Allen and staff scrambled to print the first paper in the world with news of the assault. Extras were being sold on the street within three hours.

Nov. 3, 1942 — Joseph Farrington was elected nonvoting Hawaii delegate to Congress. He was re-elected in 1944, 1946, 1948, 1950 and 1952.

Bill Ewing, Star-Bulletin editor, was credited with creating the slang term “SeaBee” for the U.S. Navy’s construction battalions.

May 24, 1943 — The Star-Bulletin endowed a yearly full-tuition scholarship to the University of Hawaii for a Farrington High School senior. The scholarship continues today.

Oct. 24, 1944 — Wartime martial law ended in Hawaii. The Star-Bulletin had strongly opposed martial law from its inception shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack.

April 1, 1946 — The Star-Bulletin reported “Big Tidal Wave Sweeps Isles; Many Lives Lost.”

June 1946 — As scientists, military and government leaders converged on Honolulu for atom-bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, a cocktail party for the visitors was interrupted when Star-Bulletin newsboys dashed through the crowd, waving newspapers that announced the tests had been cancelled. The printed extras were a practical joke, apparently the only one ever perpetrated by the Star-Bulletin, or at least admitted to.

Aug. 9, 1946 — The Star-Bulletin published the famed picture of aging Iuemon Kiyama tearfully embracing his son, the decorated Sgt. Howard Kiyama of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, upon his return from Europe. The picture also occupies the entire front page of the New York Daily News and appeared in Life magazine, Liberty magazine and other publications. Taken by Star-Bulletin photographer Robert Ebert, it won the National Press Photographers Association “Spot News” award in 1946 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Dec. 1, 1952 — The Honolulu Star-Bulletin partnered with radio man Cec Heftel to open KGMB-TV, Hawaii’s first television station, airing for the first time.

April 17, 1953 — In response to a statement by Mississippi’s Sen. James Eastland that Hawaii was dominated by Communists and would, if granted statehood, send representatives of Moscow to Congress, the Star-Bulletin devoted most of its front page, all of page 2 and part of page 3 to listing the names of Hawaii’s dead, wounded, missing and prisoners in the 1950-53 Korean War. “The record of Hawaii in the Korean War does not bear out the senator’s charges,” the Star-Bulletin pointed out. “The record shows that Hawaii has suffered 1,370 casualties while fighting the forces of communism in Korea. Of these, 348 have been killed, 902 wounded, 95 are missing and 25 are prisoners of war. Military authorities have estimated that Hawaii’s casualty toll in Korea is three to four times that of the average of the states, on the basis of population.”

June 19, 1954 — Joseph Farrington died at his desk in Washington at 56. Widow Betty won a special election on July 31, 1954, to finish his term. She was then elected Nov. 2, 1954, to a full term.

Nov. 6, 1956 — Betty Farrington was defeated by John Burns in an election for Hawaii’s nonvoting congressional delegate.

March 9, 1957 — Star-Bulletin reporter Sarah Park, 29, died when a small plane piloted by Hawaii advertising executive Paul Beam crashed into the sea just off Laie Point while covering tidal wave action. Beam, 42, died less than 24 hours later. Star-Bulletin photographer Jack Matsumoto survived the crash with injuries, eventually returning to work.

Aug. 21, 1957 — Betty Farrington was elected president of the Star-Bulletin, the third Farrington among four presidents and Hawaii’s first woman president of a publishing company.

March 12 and Aug. 21, 1959 — The Star-Bulletin published its famous statehood editions. The most famous statehood picture — Chester Kahapea hawking statehood editions two days before his 13th birthday — appeared March 13. The picture, snapped by Murray Befeler of Photo Hawaii, graced the front pages of numerous newspapers, including the New York Times and New York Daily News.

Oct. 31, 1959 — Publication of the first Sunday Star-Bulletin

May 23, 1960 — The Star-Bulletin reported tidal wave devastation in Hilo.

July 22, 1960 — Riley Allen stepped down as editor after 48 years in the seat. Star-Bulletin circulation during his career rose from about 4,000 in 1912 to 104,000 in 1960. He had overseen coverage of two of Hawaii’s biggest stories — the Pearl Harbor attack and statehood.

March 17, 1961 — Star-Bulletin Editor William H. Ewing won a National Headliners award for his eyewitness reporting June 10, 1960 — and subsequent days — of leftist demonstrations and riots in Japan in protest against a new U.S.-Japan security treaty.

The Star-Bulletin’s best-known writer, Lois Taylor, joined the staff in 1961, supposedly to cover “society” — she was introduced as “The wife of Stanley Taylor, prominent Honolulu businessman … she and her husband lead a gay social life in addition to bringing up their four children …” — and over the years developed a reputation as the newspaper’s wittiest writer before retiring in 1990.

Nov. 19, 1961 — Plans to buy the Star-Bulletin from the Farrington Estate were made public. The “hui” includes Chinn Ho, Joseph Ballard Atherton, Alexander Atherton, William H. Hill and John T. Waterhouse.

Nov. 23, 1961 — L. Porter Dickinson was named publisher.

April 30, 1962 — The Star-Bulletin sale becomes final.

June 1, 1962 — The Star-Bulletin and its morning rival, the Honolulu Advertiser, set up a third company, the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, under a joint operating agreement to handle non-newsroom functions of both papers. The Sunday editions of both papers were combined.

March 10, 1963 — The Star-Bulletin moved into its third home, the News Building at 605 Kapiolani Blvd., from its location since 1916 at 125 Merchant St. — the headquarters that the Hawaiian Star established in 1893. Its earliest home had been on Alakea Street between King and Hotel streets, a business location originally occupied by the Daily Bulletin founded in 1882, which became the Evening Bulletin on May 16, 1895.

June 21, 1963 — A newspaper strike began, eventually shutting down the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser for 47 days

Feb. 1, 1966 — Star-Bulletin reporter Mark Waters published his own obituary, written the day before, on how cigarettes brought his death from lung cancer. “Cigarettes were the death of me,” he said. Reprint later ran in Reader’s Digest.

March 7, 1966 — Kokua Line began. The popular feature is still going strong today.

Oct. 2, 1966 — Retired Editor Riley Allen died at 82.

June 1969 — Mayor Frank F. Fasi banned all Star-Bulletin reporters from City Hall, and later boycotted the Associated Press as well. The Star-Bulletin eventually had to take City Hall to court, arguing that public access to the media was essential in a democracy.

Aug. 2, 1971 — Announcement of Star-Bulletin purchase by Gannett. Star-Bulletin circulation was 128,000.

Aug. 23, 1971 — Star-Bulletin reporter Arlene Lum began articles on “The New China,” with datelines of Beijing, Shanghai and Canton. One of the rare American journalists to travel inside China after the 1949 revolution, she spent five weeks touring her ancestral homeland in August and September, months before President Nixon’s 1972 visit. She was named an Overseas Press Club award winner on April 21, 1972.

April 30, 1971 — James Couey, 47, became the Star-Bulletin’s first Gannett publisher, and died less than two months later of a heart attack.

Dec. 16, 1971 — John A. Scott named Star-Bulletin publisher.

Feb. 18, 1972 — The Star-Bulletin, continuing to emphasize China coverage, published a special China section. In addition to reporting by Arlene Lum, it featured articles by Star-Bulletin special correspondent Koji Ariyoshi. While in China, Ariyoshi met for nearly three hours with an old acquaintance from the late World War II era, Chinese Premier Chou En-lai. President Nixon “will find the premier much younger than his numerical age and an untiring man with a mental storehouse of facts and details and ability for clear analysis,” Ariyoshi said.

1973 — Star-Bulletin editor Barbara Morgan began a public inquery on the relatively low numbers of women on state boards and commissions. By the time she was finished, the number had doubled.

Oct. 31, 1975 — Philip T. Gialanella named Star-Bulletin publisher.

Sept. 5, 1986 — Catherine Shen became new Star-Bulletin publisher.

May 3, 1989 — Former Star-Bulletin reporter Arlene Lum named Star-Bulletin publisher.

Jan. 7, 1993 — Gannett announced it has reached an agreement to sell the Star-Bulletin to Liberty Newspapers Limited Partnership in a move that will allow Gannett to complete its acquisition of the Honolulu Advertiser. Star-Bulletin circulation was 88,000. John Flanagan, executive editor, was named Star-Bulletin editor and publisher.

Jan. 31, 1993 — It was announced the Advertiser will control all of the Sunday paper starting at the end of February.

Aug. 9, 1997 — The Star-Bulletin published the Broken Trust essay by five community leaders critical of Bishop Estate trustees that leads to investigations, court actions and statewide soul-searching to bring about corrective action. The $1 million-a-year Bishop Estate trustees were eventually toppled and reforms set in motion.

Sept. 1-2, 1999 — The Star-Bulletin published “What Price Paradise?” a two-day series that compared retail prices in Hawaii and on the West Coast. Reporter Rob Perez later won a National Headliner award under the News Beat Coverage category.

Two weeks later, Liberty Newspapers announced it will shut down the Star-Bulletin on Oct. 30 because of better investment opportunities on the mainland. Star-Bulletin circulation was 67,124. Soon after, a group of community members banded together under the moniker “Save Our Star-Bulletin” in an effort to keep the paper alive.

Oct. 13, 1999 — District Judge Alan Kay issued a preliminary injunction in federal court preventing Gannett Co. and Liberty Newspapers from taking further steps to close the Star-Bulletin.

Oct. 20, 1999 — Liberty and Gannett filed a notice of appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to overturn Kay’s preliminary injunction. Newspaper owners argue that the First Amendment gives the paper the right to publish or not to publish.

Nov. 15, 1999 — A three-judge panel with the 9th Circuit upholds Kay’s preliminary injunction.

April 22, 2000 — Liberty and Gannett agreed to put the Star-Bulletin up for sale, under a court-supervised process approved by Kay. The sale was supervised by Federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren.

May 5, 2000 — Kurren approved Liberty’s hiring of brokers Dirks Van Essen & Murray to market the Star-Bulletin.

Sept. 1, 2000 — Three groups submitted formal bids for the Star-Bulletin. They include Black Press Ltd., which operates 80 community newspapers in Western Canada and Washington state; Hadland Communications Inc., which owns five weekly publications in the Los Angeles area; and a local group that includes former Congressman Cecil Heftel, Kauai publishers Peter and Jane McClaran and Kauai investor Jeff Lindner.

Sept. 27, 2000 — Kurren approved Black Press Ltd. as the sole qualified bidder for the Star-Bulletin.

Nov. 9, 2000 — The federal court approved Black Press Ltd.’s purchase of the Star-Bulletin. The order comes after Black Press reached agreement with Liberty and Gannett over the terms of the Star-Bulletin takeover.

Dec. 1, 2000 — One day after completing his purchase of the Star-Bulletin, Black announced he is purchasing RFD Publications, which owns the 280,000 circulation MidWeek newspaper.

March 14, 2001 — Last Star-Bulletin under Liberty Newspapers — and under the 38-year-old JOA — rolled off the Advertiser presses.

March 15, 2001 — Honolulu Star-Bulletin began a new era at Waterfront Plaza offices, launching its inaugural edition and new morning issue under Oahu Publications, a new local company formed by David Black. Don Kendall was named publisher.

April 1, 2001 — The Star-Bulletin published its first independent Sunday edition since 1962.

Nov. 8, 2001 — Oahu Publications laid off about 20 workers. The remaining workers, from the publisher on down, took 10 percent pay cuts.

Jan. 16, 2001 — The Star-Bulletin’s newsroom Guild employees preserved jobs with their vote to take a deeper paycut.

April 18, 2002 — For the first time since 1971, members of the local community become involved in running the Star-Bulletin as isle business leaders acquired a minority stake in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and MidWeek. Real estate and media investor Duane Kurisu, banking executive Warren K.K. Luke and his family, attorney Jeffrey Watanabe and his wife, Lynn, and Island Holdings Inc., which is represented by Colbert M. Matsumoto and Franklin M. Tokioka, reached an agreement to acquire an interest in the two local newspapers.

June 24, 2002 — Larry Johnson, former chief executive officer of the corporation that owned Bank of Hawaii, joined the lineup of Star-Bulletin local investors.

Sept. 12, 2002 — Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star, paid $12.6 million to acquire a nearly a 20 percent share of Black Press Ltd., owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and MidWeek.

March 29, 2003 — Frank Teskey, former manager with the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette, was named Star-Bulletin publisher.

June 3,  2004 — Black scored another coup when two former Advertiser executives joined the Star-Bulletin. Dennis Francis was named president of Oahu Publications Inc. and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Glenn Zuehls was named vice president of advertising.

Feb. 7, 2009 — The Star-Bulletin cuts 17 newsroom jobs and announced other economy-related layoffs were imminent. The Star-Bulletin also became a tabloid.

Feb. 25, 2010 — An agreement for Oahu Publications Inc., which owns the Star-Bulletin and MidWeek, to acquire its longtime rival, the Honolulu Advertiser, was announced in simultaneous meetings in both newsrooms.

March 9, 2010 — Gannett Co., Advertiser owner, issued layoff notices to 600 employees informing them that they will lose their jobs when the pending sale closes.

March 12, 2010 — The Hawaii Newspaper Guild informed Star-Bulletin members that, if the newspapers merge, Oahu Publications will honor their contracts.

March 14, 2010 — Ads marketing the sale of the Star-Bulletin began a 14-day run in both local newspapers, The Wall Street Journal and affiliated Web sites. Oahu Publications sent sale notices to several dozen newspaper groups and media conglomerates worldwide. Oahu Publications informed a few dozen key Hawaii investors of the pending sale.

April 27, 2010 — A ruling by the Justice Department paved the way for the consolidation of the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser.

June 6, 2010 — The two rival papers rolled off the presses for the last time.

June 7, 2010 — The Star-Advertiser debuts.

This timeline appeared, in much abridged form, in the last edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

The Wild Blue Yonder

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
P-51B YF-W at Steeple Morden, 355th FG, 1944

P-51B YF-W at Steeple Morden, 355th FG, 1944

Lt. "Buzz" Burlingame and P-47

Lt. "Buzz" Burlingame and P-47

You never know what will arrive in the mail. Here, on the cusp of Memorial Day, arrives a small packet of photographs of my father and of one of the fighters he flew out of England during WWII. The packet comes from a nice aviation enthusiast in Missouri who collects autographs of World War II pilots, and he thought he was writing to my father.

Both of my parents have died in the last year, and I need to compose a note to this fellow to say he’s just too late. This “greatest generation” is vanishing rapidly.

My father was a career Air Force officer who flew continuously from 1942 to 1971, when he retired from the Air Force, and he continued to take the controls on occasion when flying with his buddies. I inherited a love of aviation from him, but not his skill at balancing checkbooks.

I miss my parents tremendously. I’ll be visiting them at Punchbowl this week.

Here’s a little essay on our last trip together.


Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

As promised, here is some updated information on Half Moon Bay posts from last week. First, a “history” of Cameron’s Pub & Inn, taken directly from their menu:
The Inn was built about 100 years ago and has quite a history. At least three times since the turn of the century it has been a house of ill repute or a house of fun, depending on where you grew up and what you learned to call those places where ladies of the night live, sort of. During the “Roaring Twenties,” Al Capone’s sister allegedly became involved in the Inn and reportedly owned the slot machines in play there.
Bootleggers used to make their brew far back in the coastal canyons and then take it to the Inn, where it was next shipped to San Francisco. There are still people who can recall bullets flying across Highway 1, as hijackers fought it out with the bootleggers over who would get the booze.
Three murders took place at the Inn in the 1930s. Two of them occurred when three escaped convicts from San Quentin ended up at the Inn and had an argument. One of the convicts shot and killed the other two. Not much could be learned about the third murder, except that it involved a woman.
During Worid War II the Army took over the inn. They used it as a mess hall and converted the upstairs portion into officers’ quarters. The Army also added the back part that is now used as a bar and game area.
In the late ’40s, some residents recall drinking in the back part of the Inn while drunken bartenders took turns shooting pistols at targets set up on the wall opposite the bar. In the ’50s, several people reported having their first beer at the Inn several years before the age of 21. It was that kind of place.
In the ’60s, the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang allegedly stopped at the Inn for a drink. The Angels were in a hurry and rode their cycles into the bar itself.

And here’s “A Brief History of Manuel F. Cunha Intermediate School” by Dave Cresson:
The growing population of the Coastside has long forced the Coastside schools to strain at their seams. At the beginnings of Spanishtown — now Half Moon Bay — schools were privately funded and taught separately for English and Spanish speakers. Those simple one-room schools expanded steadily fromt he earliest (1860s) to today’s complex and multi-million dollar enterprises. The new construction being completed at the intermediate school today is one more step in the process of accommodating the expanding needs of Coastside youth.
The roots of the intermediate school lie in several schools that served the different parts of the Coastside. Grammar schools were scattered all along the coast. Among those now abandoned is one that still stands as a home in Montara. The foundation of another that burned down in the 1970s remains within a community park in Moss Beach. a grammar school in Miramar was taken down after WWII, and a beautiful grammar school in Half Moon Bay stood near today’s town library on Church St. It fell to a fire while it was still being used, in the early 1900s. Yet another, called Tunis School, operated until relatively recently (1964) south of town. It was the last one-room schoolhouse in San Mateo County.
Until the mid-1960s, the elementary schools were governed by several different administrative school districts, and the high school by yet another separate administrative district. All the school districts of the Coastside were fully unified in 1964, and named after the Portuguese navigator who worked for the early Spanish explorers. That is the Cabrillo Unified School District.
Early in the 20th Century, a grand building was erected in Half Moon Bay to serve the Coastside’s high school students. It stood proudly on Kelly Ave., close to Cunha’s current location. The structure was among the proudest within the growing town. Because it served all the Coastside, it was given the name “Union High School”.
Population growth and modern times resulted in what must have been a difficult decision at the time. The fine old building was replaced with a modern and larger building. A new elementary school was also erected. The new construction had its touches of art deco design, replacing the Spanish castle look of the previous, less space-efficient high school.

Better Days at the Star-Bulletin

Sunday, May 17th, 2009
Star-Bulletin House Ad  Star-Bulletin House Ad


Here’s a promotional ad for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin when the paper was riding high in the 1920s. The irony is that the circulation was far, far less then than it is now.

I’ll post occasional historic images here, including some of the Star-Bulletin’s ancient history.