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1980 to 1989


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POSTED: Monday, August 17, 2009

1980

* April 4: The final episode of “;Hawaii Five-0”; airs. The series, starring Jack Lord, lasted 12 years and was the first network series to be filmed entirely in Hawaii.

Sept. 20: Eileen Anderson, a former state budget director, beats Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi in the Democratic primary. Backed by Gov. George Ariyoshi, Anderson easily wins the Nov. 4 general election, becoming Honolulu's first female mayor.

Dec.11: The TV show “;Magnum, P.I.,”; starring Tom Selleck, begins an eight-year run on CBS.

 

1981

July 7: The Alexander Young Building, an 80-year-old landmark in downtown Honolulu, is finally demolished after several attempts to save it through the courts.

Dec. 5 : Two days before the 40th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, 11 skydivers die when their plane crashes into shallow harbor waters close to the USS Arizona Memorial.

Dec. 22: As the sugar industry continues to decline, Congress passes sugar price-support legislation. Hawaii growers are dissatisfied with the bill, and Amfac talks about closing its Waipahu sugar operations.

 

1982

April 21: Meadow Gold Dairies dumps thousands of gallons of milk, after traces of heptachlor, a toxic pineapple pesticide, are found in its products. Dairies are closed and new cows are imported from the mainland. On Aug.11, state Sen. Ben Cayetano says the state Health Department waited more than three months before testing milk products for contamination. The scandal destroys public confidence in the state Health Department.

Nov. 23: Hurricane Iwa strikes Oahu, Niihau and Kauai with winds as high as 117 mph. It causes $250 million in damage and Kauai's economy suffers for years.

 

1983

Jan. 3: Kilauea

Volcano erupts at Napau Crater, launching a 20-year cycle of volcanic eruptions.

April 1: Radio station KSSK apologizes for an April Fools Day hoax concocted by its leading deejay, Hal Lewis, better known as J. Akuhead Pupule. The joke lured hundreds of people to Waikiki to see a nonexistent parade supposedly featuring “;Magnum, P.I.”; star Tom Selleck. Lewis dies on July 21, after a 30-year career in Hawaii.

Sept. 21: Two residents and 16 supporters are arrested at Hale Mohalu, the home for Hansen's Disease patients in Pearl City. All the buildings are demolished. The patients, who were still living there in defiance of the state's 1978 eviction order, are not convicted of any crime.

 

1984

May 31: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Hawaii's Land Reform Act of 1967. The state law had been challenged by Bishop Estate, Hawaii's largest private landowner.

Aug. 21: To celebrate Hawaii's 25th statehood anniversary, First Lady Jean Ariyoshi plants the first of a “;Million Trees of Aloha.”; By December 1986, about 1.3 million trees are planted.

Sept. 14: The ACLU of Hawaii files suit against the state for overcrowding at men's and women's prisons. The prisons hold twice as many inmates as they are built to hold.

 

1985

July 2: Businessman David Murdoch, purchases the “;big five”; company Castle & Cooke, and buys 98 percent of Lanai. He halts pineapple production and launches construction of two luxury resorts.

Oct 5: Veteran City Councilmen George Akahane, Toraki Matsumoto and Rudy Pacarro are removed from office by voters in a special election, after they change political affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

Oct. 21: Ronald Reward is convicted on 94 counts of fraud, perjury and tax evasion connected with his bogus investment firm, Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong.

Dec. 31: Hawaii's annual visitor count reaches 5 million.

 

1986

Jan.28: Hawaii-born astronaut Ellison Onizuka, 39, dies with the crew of the space shuttle Challenger as it explodes after take-off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

Feb. 25: Ousted Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos arrives in exile aboard a U.S. Air Force transport plane with his wife, Imelda, and 86 others. They are carrying $8 million in cash and jewels. He lives lavishly in Hawaii until his death from heart disease Sept. 28, 1989 at St. Francis Medical Center.

Sept. 20: John D. Waihee wins an upset over Cecil Heftel in the Democratic primary for governor. A last-minute smear campaign might have damaged Heftel's chances. Waihee becomes the first governor of Hawaiian ancestry when he defeats D.G. “;Andy”; Anderson in the general election.

Dec. 7: Officials break ground for West Beach, a development near Barbers Point, and called Oahu's “;Second City.”;

 

1987

July 23:The Board of Education approves a pilot project of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program to teach K-1 students using only the Hawaiian language. Today, the program has expanded to nearly 20 K-12 schools.

Aug. 18: After 27 years, the Hawaii Islanders, the state's only professional baseball team, moves to Colorado Springs. The team cites low attendance as the reason for the move.

Dec. 31: A devastating storm on New Year's Eve causes widespread damage on Oahu and the Big Island.

 

1988

May 1: The “;Magnum PI”; television series, starring Tom Selleck and filmed in Hawaii, ends after eight seasons.

April 28: Aloha Airlines 243 is en route from Hilo to Honolulu when a large chunk of the jet's roof and walls are torn from the plane's cabin. A flight attendant disappears through the hole in the fuselage.

Nov. 8: Voters pass the Save Sandy Beach initiative by a 2-to-1 vote, downzoning the site for proposed development from residential to preservation.

Dec. 31: Tourism now contributes to 32 percent of the state's economy, up from 3 percent in the 1950s.

 

1989

Feb. 24: A United Airlines 747 flying from Honolulu to Sydney, Australia, has an electrical short that causes a cargo door to open, triggering an explosive decompression and loss of power in two engines. Nine passengers are sucked out of the plane over the ocean and never recovered. The plane returns to Honolulu and lands safely.

May 29: A judge orders Bishop Estate to reveal trustee commissions. The trustees were paid $920,000 in 1987.

July 28: State. Rep. Roland Kotani is beaten to death with a hammer as he sleeps in bed. On July 31, his wife confesses during a police interview, and then shoots and kills herself in a police station bathroom.