So Rambo Ike asked me over at Birther Report (before I gave it up for Lent) just when was the earliest reference to Obama being born at Kapi’olani hospital. Of course I wasn’t going to kick over a hornet’s nest and mention the birth certificate, which in all fairness didn’t see the light of day until 2011. I had to do a little digging, and here’s my reply:
The earliest Kapi’olani reference is a really good challenge. Most of my interest started with the birthers, and my knowledge of pre-birther history is pretty light. But let’s see what I can do.
The earliest Kapi’olani reference I know of without looking is the one in the Honolulu Advertiser from November 9, 2008, citing “family sources.” You can read about that here:
That’s the interview that contains Tong’s comment;
“We don’t have plans to do anything,” said Kapiolani Medical Center spokeswoman, Claire Tong, when asked how the center plans to commemorate the soon-to-be 44th U.S. president, who, according to Obama’s family and other sources, was born at that hospital on Aug. 4, 1961.
“We can’t confirm or deny it — even though all the information out there says he was born at Kapiolani Hospital. And that’s because of the HIPA (sic) law.”
Tong acknowledged that the center has received daily inquiries from news agencies far and wide asking for confirmation of Obama’s birthplace. Much as she wishes she could do it, Tong said it’s not possible.
“Our hands are tied,” she said.
David Maraniss, who would later write a Biography of Obama, wrote of Obama’s birth at Kapiolani in an article in the Washington Post August 24, 2008. Maraniss doesn’t give a source
The Honolulu Star Bulletin article: “Punahou left lasting impression on Obama” from February 8, 2007 says Kapiolani.
Another article from the Star Bulletin from March 21, 2004 also lists Kapiolani as Obama’s place of birth. That article was copied, mentioning Kapiolani, at the Free Republic forum also in 2004, so we can be pretty sure it wasn’t changed.
That’s as far back as I can find.