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Click for U.S. Congress resolution on Guam's 4000 year history.

Despite the island's relatively small size - over 200 square miles - Guam's (Guahan) strategic location in the Western Pacific has attracted the presence of several nations in its past.

Click WWII minisub above to see Japan sub
visiting Guam on Mar 2000

Guahan and its Chamoru inhabitants have been administered for over 400 years by Spain, Japan and America. From the book "The Importance of the Mariana Islands to Spain at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century" by Teresa del Valle edited by Marjorie G. Driver 1991 Univ of Guam Micronesian Area Research Center, the following is noted:

Portuguese by birth, Magellan was in the service of Spain when he undertook his famous voyage. After discovering the strait that bears his name, Magellan crossed the Pacific Ocean and arrived at a group of islands on 6 march 1521. He named them Islas de las Velas Latinas, Islands of the Lateen Sails, because of the shape of the sails on the native proas. When one of his skiffs was taken by the islanders, he soon changed the name to Islas de los Ladrones, The Islands of Thieves.

Captain Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi was the first to officially proclaim the Islands of the Ladrones as possessions of the king of Spain. On 21 November 1564, he sailed from the port of Navidad, in New Spain (today Mexico), at the head of an expedition organized by Luis de Velasco, the third viceroy of New Spain. The expedition arrived at Guam, the principal island of the Ladrones, on 22 January 1565. Legazpi planted a cross at Umatac and claimed the archipelago as a possession of the spanish Crown. Father Andres de Urdaneta, an Augustinian priest with the expedition, celebrated the first Mass there. On 3 February, the expedition sailed for the Philippines. For his contribution to Spain, Legazpi received the royal title of Adelantado de las Islas.

Spain's reign lasted until 1898, when America claimed the island as part of the prizes in the Spanish-American War. By the Treaty of Paris, 10 December 1898, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippinies were ceded to the United States, which agreed to pay Spain $20,000,000 and to satisfy the claims of its citizens against that nation. The following year, Spain sold the Caroline Islands and the Marianas, except guam, to germany for 25,000,000 pesetas or $357,142. After World War I, under the mandate system of the league of Nations, Japan became the mandating power for the Carolines, the marshalls, and the marianas, except for Guam.

After the Imperial Forces of Japan bombed Guam in Dec 8, 1941, Guam became the only remaining populated territory in the U.S. to endure foreign occupation. Many inhabitants of Guam, during the WWII occupation, were tortured and beheaded while protecting U.S. soldiers from capture and execution. On July 21, 1944, America recaptured Guam and reestablished the naval government. By the end of the 1940's President Harry Truman removed Guam from under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of Interior. On August 1, 1950, the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Act, giving former Guam nationals American citizenship and a civilian government. In 1962, President Kennedy lifted the Naval Clearing Act and opened Guam's ports to domestic and foreign visitors. Previously, visitors need the consent of the Naval administrator to land on Guam.

POSTERS! Two pages of the original 1950 organic act each 1.7 megs. Organic Act pg 1 For students! Organic Act pg 2
To view correct image size, uncheck 'autoresizing image' in browser internet options. To download, click poster to view then right click and save - into your folder.

Under the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement with the United Nations, dated 2 April 1947, the United States became the administrating authority for the Marianas, Caroline, and Marshall Islands. The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas was formed in April 1976, and today the Caroline and Marshall islands form three separate political entities: the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshalls. The Republics of Nauru and Kiribati are also part of Micronesia.

The Pentagon's 332-page official History released on Oct 21, 1999 to Robert S. Norris (a private specialist on nuclear weapons) acknowledged that in 1951, President Truman authorized the shipment of nuclear capsules -the bomb's plutonium or uranium core- to the Pacific island of Guam (Guahan) during the Korea War. Starting in 1956, a wide variety of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems were sent to the Pacific as a first line of defense for America. Today, the only full-time U.S. nuclear deployments (according to the Pentagon History) outside of the U.S. are in Europe.

Click to see Operation New Life. Vietnam Refugees transiting Guahan in 1975 for U.S.
In 1975 more than 100,000 evacuees from the fall of Vietnam were repatriated via Guam (Guahan). In 1996, 6,600 Kurdish refugees who feared retaliation by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein were housed on Guam.

During each major war -- WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War, Guahan endured the most military casualties of native sons per capita in the U.S. At this juncture, Guahan attempts to redefine its political status. The central debates focus upon Guam's status quo as a U.S. unincorporated territory whereupon U.S. citizens are not protected by the U.S. Constitution, can't vote for president, and can have their rights revoked by Congress. Questions of unresolved political status, WWII war reparations (Treaty of San Francisco), and discussions of postwar military emminent domain acquisition of private property without due process have been raised.

During the 1990's, the tourism industry overshadowed the military as the dominant economic juggernaut fueling the economies in the Marianas Islands of which Guam is the largest and Southernmost Island.

boys wwii survivors guam

7000 WWII invasion survivors camping at Guam pigo cemetary
after bombardment. source: guampdn 28 feb 2010. CLICK TO VISIT WWII GALLERY!

U.S. Congress resolution on Guam's 4000 year history
The Decommissioning of the USS Guam and return of the Guam Bell.
The origins and description of the Guam Seal.
Guam History through Songs. Musical Analysis of Guahan History.
Tragedies in Human History of Guam.
Sargeant Yokoi - Last World War II Straggler Soldier On Guam.
Covers Details Of Capture In 1972.
Chief Quipuha Page. The Spanish Galleon Trade Routes of the 1600's.
The Ancient Megaliths, The Latte Stones
The People of Guam, look for "The Ancient Ones"
The Star Cave of Guam!
Cyber Attacks to the GovtGuam network. {Click the Guam Network selection}.
Bikini Atoll 1946 operation crossroads. {This site has a menu buttom to start gallery photos.}.

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