In 1959, Hawaii entered the union as our 50th state, but aspects of its diverse South Pacific culture had already been popular across the mainland United States for years. Military personnel stationed at Pearl Harbor and other bases returned home after World War II, bringing their memories of Hawaiian food, music and fashion with them.
For example, who would have thought that sailors living on rations of Spam (a canned pork product) would actually want to continue eating it after the war? But it’s true: there was something so exotic and romantic about the island chain that recipes containing Spam, pineapple and other tropical ingredients became popular in cookbooks published in the 1950s. Even today, residents of Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands consume more Spam than any other U.S. state or territory. For more wartime recipes, check out:
The American History Cookbook
by Mark H. Zanger
TX 715 .Z36 2003 Stacks
Pennsylvanian James Michener contributed to the Polynesian craze with the publication of two novels: Tales of the South Pacific, published in 1947; and Hawaii, released in 1959. Tales was later adapted for a Broadway musical, South Pacific, by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
Tales of the South Pacific
PS 3525 .I19 T3 1981 Stacks (Large Print version)
PS 3525 .I19 H3 Stacks
A Hawaiian-inspired tradition popular in the 1950s that continues today is the aloha shirt – the perfect outfit for backyard barbecues and summer beach parties. Who can resist their vibrant colors and wild floral prints?
The Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands
by Dale Hope
GT 617 .H3 H66 2000 Oversize Stacks
No visit to the Big Island would be complete without experiencing the authentic hula dancing practiced by native Pacific Islanders. Every hula gesture conveys a story; this film recounts the legend of the Hawaiian deity Pele.
Holo Mai Pele
produced by Pacific Islanders in Communications
GR 110 .H38 K36 2004 [DVD] Media Tower