Archives for Duke’s OceanFest

Happy Birthday to Duke… and the Natatorium!

Today is the 120th birthday of the ultimate Hawai’i waterman, Duke Kahanamoku: Olympic swimming champion, surfer, diver, paddler and sailor. And it’s the 83rd birthday of the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial, inaugurated by Duke with a ceremonial first swim on Aug. 24, 1927, the day the champion turned 37. That ceremony kicked off the four-day AAU National Outdoor Swimming Championships, a meet studded with stars like Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and Japan’s Katsuo “Flying Fish” Takaishi. According to a Honolulu Star-Bulletin account, “Opening night attracted 6,000 people. … The Natatorium was packed with spectators — as was every tree outside
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Categories: Events, History, and Uncategorized.