Honolulu Star Bulletin

Permanent URI for this collection

As Hawai‘i’s oldest continuously-published newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin has a complex history. The paper was first conceived in 1870 as the Daily Marine Bulletin by Henry M. Whitney after he was forced to sell the Pacific Commercial Advertiser--the forerunner of the Honolulu Advertiser--amid criticism for his condemnation of the government’s role in importing labor from Asia. In 1878, James W. Robertson bought Whitney’s firm and continued publishing Whitney’s daily under various titles including the Daily Commercial Bulletin and J.W. Robertson’s Daily Bulletin. Although the lack of any holdings for this period make it difficult to find accurate information about the paper’s form and content, the first printed edition of the Daily Bulletin, launched on February 1, 1882, suggests that the new paper was a continuation of the hand-written sheet Robertson had taken over from Whitney five years earlier: “With this issue commences a new edition of our mornings [sic] Bulletin. After this it will appear in printed form, and will be delivered every morning free […] and if it is received as well as our written ones were, we will be satisfied.” By January 1886, the Daily Bulletin was generally four pages in length, with special issues reaching as many as ten pages. And although paper’s motto boasted “Pledged to neither Sect nor Party. But established for the benefit of all,” the Daily Bulletin staunchly defended the 1887 Bayonet Constitution and the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Beginning May 16, 1895, the Daily Bulletin was continued by the Evening Bulletin, which absorbed Daniel Logan’s short-lived Independent and quickly emerged as a strong advocate for Hawaiian annexation and statehood. On July 1, 1912, the Evening Bulletin merged with the Hawaiian Star to form the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. American businessman Joseph B. Atherton had established the Hawaiian Star in Honolulu as the official voice of the Provisional Government following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and was consistently pro-American and pro-annexation. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin maintained a consistently pro-American editorial stance. It campaigned strongly in favor of statehood throughout the first half of the 20th century and has promoted American political and economic interests in Hawai‘i ever since. In 2010, Honolulu Star-Bulletin owner David Black of O‘ahu Publications purchased the rival Honolulu Advertiser from Gannett Company and announced plans to merge the two papers; the new paper is called the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


To download high quality JPEG2000 images of the newspaper pages, go to the Library of Congress Chronicling America website [http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/issues/]