Archives for History

Join us! 100th anniversary of the end of World War I; observances at the Natatorium

Six merchant mariners killed in a submarine attack on the S.S. Aztec. The Hawaii Naval Militia deployed on the U.S.S. St. Louis for convoy duty in the Atlantic. More than 5,500 soldiers readied for war in what is still the largest mobilization in Hawaii National Guard history. Red Cross ambulance drivers in France. Sweater-knitting schoolkids and firefighters. Bandage rollers in the Iolani Palace throne room. Liberty Bond buyers. In all, more than 10,000 men and women from Hawaii volunteered for service in World War I. At least 101 of them died. And many, many more served in one way or
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, History, Veterans, and Veterans Day.

Natatorium named official WWI Centennial Memorial

The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium has been named one of America’s official World War I Centennial Memorials, in advance of next year’s observance of the 100th anniversary of the end of the first global conflict. The Natatorium is the only monument in Hawaii on the list of the first 50 World War I memorials nationwide announced this week by the federal World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Another 50 will be selected next year. “We’re very pleased to be among the first sites selected for by the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission as
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Remember the Aztec! Remember Hawaii's Role in World War I

One hundred years ago this week, World War I had been raging for nearly three years. One hundred years ago this week, the United States entered the conflict, declaring war on Germany. “Lafayette, Nous Voilà” Just two summers later, America was sending 10,000 soldiers a day to Europe. A few months after that, it was over. The Allies, with America’s help, had won the gargantuan, horrific, and horribly misnamed War to End All Wars. One of the events that precipitated the U.S. declaration of war on April 6, 1917, was the torpedoing just days earlier of a U.S. cargo vessel,
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Categories: Elected officials, Friends of the Natatorium, History, and Veterans.

Friday: Remember World War I's Biggest Battle 100 Years Ago

This Friday is the 100th anniversary of the start of one of the bloodiest battles in human history: World War I’s Somme Offensive. It began July 1, 1916, with a British and French attack on German lines in the area of the River Somme in far northern France. By the time it ended in mid-November, the two sides had suffered casualties of more than a million men killed or wounded. The United States was not yet a part of the war in 1916. But Australian Andrew Dowling wrote us recently, asking if there was any World War I memorial in
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Categories: Events, History, and Uncategorized.

The Granddaughter of the Natatorium's Builder Returns

Knowing history is one thing. But seeing it, hearing it, talking with it is another thing entirely. That’s why we were so thrilled and grateful to meet Marti King over Thanksgiving weekend. Our Link to the Man Who Built the Natatorium Marti is the granddaughter of John Llewellyn Cliff, the Honolulu contractor who built the War Memorial Natatorium. She was in Hawaii for the holiday and stopped by to see the Natatorium again and chat with members of the Friends of the Natatorium. She also presented a donation to help repair and reopen the facility that is so much a
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, Support, and Uncategorized.

Prime Time Slot for 'The Tank,' New Natatorium Documentary

Honolulu’s NBC affiliate KHNL-TV will premiere The Tank, a one-hour documentary on the Waikiki’s War Memorial Natatorium, this Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. The Tank premiere falls three days before Veterans Day. The holiday was created in 1919 to mark the first anniversary of the 1918 Armistice ending World War I. The Natatorium is the official memorial to Hawaii’s veterans of that conflict. What ‘The Tank’ is About In The Tank, the filmmakers at Oahu’s TalkStory Productions have completed a herculean task: compressing nearly 100 years of Natatorium history and over 40 hours of footage into a one-hour prime
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Categories: Documentary, History, and Uncategorized.

Book Tells 'Three-Year Swim Club' Story, Natatorium's Role

The Natatorium is important not just because it’s an official state war memorial, because of its architectural significance, or because of its unique place in local history and culture. It’s also important because of the people who have swum there. In just a few days, a new book is coming out about some of those people, a fascinating group of youngsters from Maui known as “The Three-Year Swim Club.” Julie Checkoway’s book of that name tells the story of Maui public school teacher Soichi Sakamoto and the impoverished Depression-era sugar plantation kids he coached, at first in an irrigation ditch
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Categories: History and Uncategorized.

Your Family Photos in a Natatorium Film?

Do you have classic Natatorium photos like these? Hawaii’s TalkStory Productions is working on a film about the War Memorial Natatorium. You’ll see it this fall. This great film can be even better … if it includes your family photos, your home movies, your slides, videos or vintage post cards. How You Can Help Good times at the Tank back in the day? Check the photo albums, the slide carousels and those dusty boxes of 8 millimeter film. Let’s see ‘em! Send what you’ve got to producer Jason Lau at JLau@talk-story.com. Details, Please! Please be sure to send along caption
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Categories: Documentary, History, Images, Uncategorized, and Videos.

The Natatorium: For the Weight Ohana, It’s Personal (See the Video)

The Weight/Napoleon ohana cares so much about the War Memorial Natatorium, for so many reasons. — Their ancestor, Sam Kainoa, who died in the service in World War I, is among the 10,000 volunteers from Hawaii honored at the Natatorium. –Another forebearer, Walter Napoleon, was superintendent at the Tank and captain of Hawaii lifeguards. –The family’s matriarch, Naomi Weight, daughter of Walter, practically grew up at the Natatorium on the shore of Waikiki, as did so many Oahu residents for generations. So you’ll see dozens of members of this great ohana at the Natatorium each year for the Memorial Day
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, History, Memorial Day, News coverage, Support, Uncategorized, and Videos.

Do You Have Great Natatorium Photos Like This?

Time to check your ohana’s photo albums, scrap books, storage boxes and slide carousels. We need photos of you, your family and your friends at the War Memorial Natatorium in Waikiki. If you have home movies, even better. Why? The Friends of the Natatorium are working with the film and television pros at TalkStory Productions to produce a documentary. We want to tell the Natatorium’s story. From the global conflict it was built to commemorate to the Olympic champions who swam at the Tank and international swimming records set there. But more than a sports history piece, it’s a love
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Categories: Documentary, Friends of the Natatorium, History, Images, News coverage, Uncategorized, and Videos.