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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nixon’s Strangler Fig

Hilo, Hawaii, has used invitation-only plantings of banyan trees to draw visitors to its black beaches.


In 1952 a young California Senator, Richard Nixon, planted a banyan tree along Hilo, Hawaii’s “Hall of Fame.”

Photo: Jim Branscome

What will the Chamber of Commerce think of next?

To be precise, it was the park commissioners of Hilo, Hawaii, who in 1933 came up with a botanical gimmick to draw more tourists to this side of the Big Island: “The Hilo Hall of Fame.”

With movie director Cecil B. DeMille in Hilo filming “Four Frightened People” (terrific title!), local officials struck on the idea of having celebrities plant banyan trees along the Waiakea Peninsula. Heck with handprints in the sidewalk. The Hilo fathers could promise a living tribute, something with scale and height.


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Posted by Julie on 02/25 at 11:17 PM
Gardening & LandscapePoliticsSecular CustomsTravelPermalink