Section 11343, Revised Laws of Hawaii 1945, refers to the playing of prohibited games. This statute provides that every person who participates in or who conducts, either as an owner or employee, any specific type of game or any game in which money or anything of value is won or lost is guilty of a misdemeanor.
1957 Carnival scene: Grant Marsh and Barbara Townsend splurge on a balloon from the happy vendor, Dave Ferguson. (1957 Oahuan photo and caption)
So read the February 7, 1957 letter from Dan Liu, Chief of Police (signed by Arthur M. Tarbell, Deputy Chief of Police), to Dr. John Fox, President of Punahou School. Walter F. Dillingham, President of the Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Robert S. Lowery, Carnival Chairwoman, were copied on the communication.
At issue was a January 1957 court ruling, made by Judge Harry R. Hewitt, that gambling is involved in “any game in which money or something of value is won or lost.” Because Carnival games offered prizes to its winners, game players were gambling and would, as stated in Chief Liu’s letter, be subject to the possibility “of embarrassment attendant to arrest and prosecution of any individual concerned either as operators or as participants.”
With this news being delivered on the eve of the start of the February 8-9 event fifty years ago this year, it seemed that the Carnival much attended midway was doomed.
What to do? Actually the answer was quite simple. According to Carnival Chairwoman Lowrey, “We just (more…)
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