Who is Dorinda?

Dorinda Makanaōnalani Nicholson is the Pearl Harbor Child. She was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother who taught her to hula, and then Dorinda taught her poi-dog, Hula Girl, to dance along with her. Her Scots-Irish father held her tight against him the morning of December 7th, 1941 while they stood together in their front yard watching Japanese torpedo bombers scream overhead so low, Dorinda saw the pilots’ goggles as the planes whizzed by, barely above the tree tops.


Speaking Engagements

If you can’t take your students or audience to Pearl Harbor, then bring the Pearl Harbor Child to your event. Dorinda visits schools and conferences nationally and internationally, sharing her story as an eye-witness to the attack on Pearl Harbor through the eyes of a child. She is a frequent speaker at Pearl Harbor commemorative events and Hawaii schools.



Dorinda enjoyed being a historical and cultural advisor for the American Girl doll, Nanea. She and Nanea both have Hawaiian mothers and Caucasian fathers, and green eyes. They both had dogs that got lost during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and they had to carry gas masks to school. And most importantly, they both taught their dogs to dance the hula. Click here to view the teacher guide.


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