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Pacific Island Guide Micronesia  >  Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

General Information

Northern Mariana Islands and Guam are separate territories of the United States in the same island chain, but it are considered part of the Micronesia island region. In 1990 the population was 133,000.

Historical background

500 A.D. Chamorro people, of Malay origin, migrated to Guam.
1521 Ferdinand Magellan, of Portugal, called it “Isla de Ladrones” (Island of Thieves) because islanders took whatever they could from his ship as payment for the food and water they had given the crew.
1500s Controlled by Spain until 1889.
1668 Jesuit priests began a missionary effort on Guam.
1740 Chamorros of the northern islands were forced to remove to Guam.
1741 Spanish galleon trade, guards, and disease reduced the population from 200,000 to 5,000. Most survivors were women and children. Chamorros were forced to settle in Agana, Agat, Umatac, Pago, and Fena. They were forced to learn Spanish language and customs.
1815 Scientists, voyagers, and whalers from Russia, France, and England came to Guam.
1898 Spain ceded Guam, the southernmost of the Mariana Islands to the USA, and sold the rest to Germany.
1899 The U.S. Navy administered Guam and it experienced many improvements in agriculture, literacy, public health, sanitation, land management, taxes, and public works.
1914 The Japanese occupied the Marianas, and the islands were administered by Japan, except for Guam.
1941 Guam fell to the Japanese forces.
1944 American forces occupied the islands, which include Saipan. They saw some of the fiercest fighting of World War II. The USA administered the islands.
1962 Security clearance requirement was lifted for travel to Guam, permitting Guam’s economy to flourish and opening an influx of Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Pacific islanders, and Caucasians.
1990 Guam was granted independent government, though they remain part of an American commonwealth.

Resources available

Several Spanish records including censuses, taxation, a Chinese census, and school records.
1920 United States Federal census.
1990 United States Federal census (Shows population as 43,345).

Also use aFilm/fiche number search and look at the descriptions of these microfilms, all of which contain information about the Mariana Islands: 1210553 Items 3-5, 1627430 item 2, 1681270, 1681271, 1681280, 1681291, 1681292 , 1681293, 1681294, 1681295, 1681349, 168135, 1681308, 1681319, 1681331, 1681521, 168139, 1681359, 1681406, 1681356, 1681360, 1681369, 1681415, 1681368, 1681407, 1681420, 1681436, 1681450, 1681370, 1681408. Also 1717354, 1717376, and 1717392.

Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)  <  Previous  |  Next  >  Kiribati (Gilbert Islands)


 

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