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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

At the beginning of the 1970s, the population of Honolulu was over 324,871. The Census Bureau reported Honolulu’s population as 33.9% white and 53.7% Asian and Pacific Islander. Honolulu experienced exponential growth during the 1970s. Ten years had passed since Hawaii became a state, and tourism was booming. It took a lot of planning to accommodate 1.7 million visitors each year, many of them in the state’s capital. New high rises were constructed, highways were expanded in Honolulu, and every square foot of space was utilized.

Here are some stunning vintage photos that show Honolulu in the 1970s.

#1 Ahua Point Birdseye, Honolulu, 1971

Ahua Point Birdseye, Honolulu, 1971

Nice sharp airplane view of Ahua Point at the south end of Honolulu Airport looking east towards Honolulu and Diamond Head. This beach frontage will disappear during the construction of the 1977 Reef Runway.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#2 Ala Moana Honolulu Birdseye, 1971

Ala Moana Honolulu Birdseye, 1971

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#3 Waialae Kahala Honolulu BEV, 1971

Waialae Kahala Honolulu BEV, 1971

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#4 Trawler Coral White Kewalo, 1974

Trawler Coral White Kewalo, 1974

Japanese trawler Coral White, home port Tokyo, moored at Fisherman's Wharf in Kewalo Basin, south shore Oahu. All the old buildings in this photo are now gone but the KGU antenna is still there.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#5 Ala Moana La Ronde Honolulu, 1971

Ala Moana La Ronde Honolulu, 1971

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#6 Keeaumoku Ramp Ala Moana, 1975

Keeaumoku Ramp Ala Moana, 1975

Kind of a grim Honolulu day in this random shot looking south along Keeaumoku Street from the Makaloa Street intersection towards the entrance to Ala Moana Center.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#7 Makai view from Paterson Cottages on Kaalawai Beach next to Black Point, East Oahu, behind Diamond Head, 1971

Makai view from Paterson Cottages on Kaalawai Beach next to Black Point, East Oahu, behind Diamond Head, 1971

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#8 Black Point Shangri La, 1972.

Black Point Shangri La, 1972.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#9 Looking ewa along the beachfront of the Paterson Cottages next to Black Point behind Diamond Head at the end of Kaalawai Place, 1972.

Looking ewa along the beachfront of the Paterson Cottages next to Black Point behind Diamond Head at the end of Kaalawai Place, 1972.

The cottages were replaced some time ago with a large private residence.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#10 Kahala Mall Birdseye, 1971.

Kahala Mall Birdseye, 1971.

Waialae Shopping Center after it was enclosed and renamed Kahala Mall. View is from the 1966 Kahala Towers across Waialae Avenue from the mall.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#11 Lunalilo Fwy Waialae Kahala, 1971.

Lunalilo Fwy Waialae Kahala, 1971.

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#12 Kahala Towers Honolulu, 1971.

Kahala Towers Honolulu, 1971.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#13 Hawaii Five-O Studio Honolulu, 1971.

Hawaii Five-O Studio Honolulu, 1971.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#14 The Sheraton Moana Hotel in Waikiki Beach, 1970s

The Sheraton Moana Hotel in Waikiki Beach, 1970s

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#15 A packed beach with people sunbathing and enjoying the sea, 1970s

A packed beach with people sunbathing and enjoying the sea, 1970s

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#16 Emperor Hirohito attends the farewell ceremony with Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi at Hickam Field on October 13, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Emperor Hirohito attends the farewell ceremony with Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi at Hickam Field on October 13, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#17 A general view of the welcome ceremony for Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako by Hawaiian citizen on October 11, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

A general view of the welcome ceremony for Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako by Hawaiian citizen on October 11, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#18 Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako attend the welcome ceremony by Hawaiian citizen on October 11, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako attend the welcome ceremony by Hawaiian citizen on October 11, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#19 Production on location at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, for the “Hawaii Five-0” episode, ‘Murder – Eyes Only’, June 23, 1975.

Production on location at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, for the "Hawaii Five-0" episode, 'Murder - Eyes Only', June 23, 1975.

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#20 Hawaiian surfer Clyde Aikau sweeps down a 10-foot wave Sunday in the Smirnoff Pro-Am Surfing Classic.

Hawaiian surfer Clyde Aikau sweeps down a 10-foot wave Sunday in the Smirnoff Pro-Am Surfing Classic.

The annual event was held on Oahu's north shore after being postponed six days due to poor surf. The semi-finals begin Monday, surf permitting.

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#21 Candid full length standing portrait of women dressed for the Aloha Day parade during the annual Aloha Week festivities, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

Candid full length standing portrait of women dressed for the Aloha Day parade during the annual Aloha Week festivities, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

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#22 The Rolling Stones live at International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, United Sattes, January 1973.

The Rolling Stones live at International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, United Sattes, January 1973.

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#23 Bill Wyman and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs on stage on their Pacific Tour 1973 at the Honolulu International Center Hawaii, United States, January 1973.

Bill Wyman and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs on stage on their Pacific Tour 1973 at the Honolulu International Center Hawaii, United States, January 1973.

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#24 Miss P. August of S. Australia, Miss S. McElhinney of Victoria and Miss D. Van Emmerik shop for postcards during their stop at Sydney today.

Miss P. August of S. Australia, Miss S. McElhinney of Victoria and Miss D. Van Emmerik shop for postcards during their stop at Sydney today.

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#25 Arnold Palmer competing in the 1971 Hawaiian Golf Open at the Waialae Country Club.

Arnold Palmer competing in the 1971 Hawaiian Golf Open at the Waialae Country Club.

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#26 Making of the “The Reunion” in Honolulu, 1970

Making of the "The Reunion" in Honolulu, 1970

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#27 US President Richard Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts in Honolulu, Hawaii, after their safe return to Earth, 23rd April 1970.

US President Richard Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts in Honolulu, Hawaii, after their safe return to Earth, 23rd April 1970.

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#28 Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and Diana Muldaur (as Cathy Wallis) on location at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, HI.

Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and Diana Muldaur (as Cathy Wallis) on location at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, HI.

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#29 The Apollo 13 astronauts join President Richard Nixon for the playing of the national Anthem during ceremonies.

The Apollo 13 astronauts join President Richard Nixon for the playing of the national Anthem during ceremonies.

Left to right are civilian astronaut Fred Haise, Navy Captain James Lovell, the President, and civilian astronaut John Swigert. The Apollo 13 crew has stopped here on their way to Houston from the splashdown site.

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#30 Surfers in honolulu, 1970s

Surfers in honolulu, 1970s

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What Honolulu, Hawaii looked like in the 1970s

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#31 Traditional Hawaiian dancers on the terrace of the ‘Royal Hawaiian Hotel’ in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, 1970s

Traditional Hawaiian dancers on the terrace of the 'Royal Hawaiian Hotel' in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, 1970s

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#32 Native fishermen load their catch into a barrel, with the Ale Ale Kai IV catamaran visible in the background, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1970.

Native fishermen load their catch into a barrel, with the Ale Ale Kai IV catamaran visible in the background, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1970.

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#33 NBA rookie Peter ‘Pistol Pete’ Maravich poses for a portrait in 1970 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

NBA rookie Peter 'Pistol Pete' Maravich poses for a portrait in 1970 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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#34 Aerial view of Honolulu looking east toward Diamondhead, the extinct volcano, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

Aerial view of Honolulu looking east toward Diamondhead, the extinct volcano, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

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#35 View of traffic down Kalakaua Avenue, the main street of the Waikiki Beach area, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

View of traffic down Kalakaua Avenue, the main street of the Waikiki Beach area, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

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#36 Hotel along the water in the popular Waikiki Beach area, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

Hotel along the water in the popular Waikiki Beach area, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

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#37 Outrigger canoes and surfers at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

Outrigger canoes and surfers at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, October, 1973.

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#38 View of Pier 8 and the Aloha Tower, from a boat docked on the pier, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1970.

View of Pier 8 and the Aloha Tower, from a boat docked on the pier, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1970.

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#39 Honolulu Harbor, 1970.

Honolulu Harbor, 1970.

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#40 Cars head west on H-1 freeway.

Cars head west on H-1 freeway.

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#41 The Hawaii State Capitol Building has changed very little since the 1970s.

The Hawaii State Capitol Building has changed very little since the 1970s.

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#42 The view of Honolulu from the summit of Diamond Head sure looks different, though.

The view of Honolulu from the summit of Diamond Head sure looks different, though.

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#43 Rainbow in Honolulu, 1970s

Rainbow in Honolulu, 1970s

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#44 Waikiki Beach and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel have been icons of Honolulu for decades.

Waikiki Beach and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel have been icons of Honolulu for decades.

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#45 High rise apartment buildings in Honolulu, 1970s

High rise apartment buildings in Honolulu, 1970s

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#46 Honolulu traffic doesn’t seem to have changed much.

Honolulu traffic doesn't seem to have changed much.

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#47 In The 1970s, Waikiki was expanding into the sky with dozens of high rise apartment buildings and hotels.

In The 1970s, Waikiki was expanding into the sky with dozens of high rise apartment buildings and hotels.

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#48 An Ala Moana office building glows in the afternoon sun.

An Ala Moana office building glows in the afternoon sun.

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#49 Hawaii’s freeways offer beautiful scenic views – without obtrusive billboards.

Hawaii’s freeways offer beautiful scenic views – without obtrusive billboards.

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#50 Honolulu, 1970s

Honolulu, 1970s

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#51 Two United States Air Force aircraft fly in formation with a Boeing KC-135A of the Arizona Air National Guard, with the Honolulu Skyline in the background.

Two United States Air Force aircraft fly in formation with a Boeing KC-135A of the Arizona Air National Guard, with the Honolulu Skyline in the background.

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#52 Cottage hotel on Kaalawai Beach next to Black Point, East Oahu, behind Diamond Head, 1972

Cottage hotel on Kaalawai Beach next to Black Point, East Oahu, behind Diamond Head, 1972

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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