If you have family from Hawaii or are interested in Hawaiian history, come check out the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Honolulu Advertiser, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Although the Honolulu Star-Advertiser only began publishing fairly recently (in 2010), the papers that merged to create it—the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin—have histories that stretch back more than a century!
The Honolulu Advertiser traces its history back to 1856, with the creation of a weekly paper called the Pacific Commercial Advertiser. In 1882, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser also began publishing a daily edition, and the weekly edition was ended a few years later, in 1888. In 1921, the paper was renamed the Honolulu Advertiser, the name it would keep for the next 90 years.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin also has a long history. It began as a single-page, hand-written bulletin posted in a shop window in 1870, and by 1882 it had become a paper known as the Daily Bulletin, which then became the Evening Bulletin in 1895. In 1912, the Evening Bulletin combined with a newspaper called the Hawaiian Star to become the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
In 1962, the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin entered into a joint operating agreement, in which the two papers would maintain separate, competitive newsrooms but share printing, circulation, administration, and advertising expenses. Finally, in 2010, the two papers were merged to create the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
In their early years, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin both catered primarily to the white, English-speaking population of Honolulu. But by the mid-20th century, they had begun to make efforts to appeal to more diverse segments of Honolulu’s population as well. If you’re looking for ancestors or other family members in these papers, good places to start include personals columns, society pages, local interest columns, and the like.
And for an interesting piece of history, check out the Star-Bulletin’s report on the bombings at Pearl Harbor, which was the earliest coverage of the event in the world.
*With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can view issues up to 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years as well as issues between 1923 and 2017