Guam History - the history of Guam
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Guam   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Guam History

   
 

Guam History


Guam was first discovered and inhabited by sea-faring people who came from Asia (possibly Indonesia or the Philippines), around about 2000 BC. These people, the Chamorros, developed a complex society, and traded with other islands in Micronesia.

On March 6th, 1521, the first Europeans arrived: Ferdinand Magellan's ships, on their expedition to circumnavigate the globe. The Chamarros natives of the islands welcomed the Spanish with food and drink. The Chamarros expected to be paid, whereas the Europeans believed these supplies to be gifts, so the Chamarros stole iron from the decks of the Spanish ships. The Spanish retaliated by killing several islanders and burning homes. Magellan consequently named Guam and the other Mariana Islands, "Las Islas de los Ladrones" (The Islands of Thieves).

In 1667, Spain claimed the islands and established a colony there. In 1668, Padre San Vitores, the first Spanish missionary, arrived. He renamed the islands "Las Marianas" after Mariana of Austria, widow of King Philip IV of Spain, and remained on the islands until his murder in 1672.

On June 21st, 1898, Guam was captured by US forces during the Spanish-American war, and was ceded to the United States by the subsequent Treaty of Paris which ended the war. (Spain later sold the Northern Mariana Islands to Germany).

During World War II, Japanese forces invaded the islands and subjected them to a brutal 31-month occupation. The islands were eventually recaptured in the Battle of Guam which took place between July 21st and August 10th of 1944

Following World War II, a series of acts relaxed the U.S. administration of Guam, established the island as an unincorporated organized territory of the United States, granted US citizenship to all persons born on Guam since 1899, allowed a non-voting Guam delegate in the US House of Representatives, and allowed the islanders to elect their own governor and lieutenant governor. In 1982, Guam residents overwhelmingly voted for a closer relationship with the United States as a Commonwealth. However, progress towards implementing the decision has been slow.

In recent years, Guam has suffered a number of setbacks, including the 1990s Asian economic crisis, and September 11th attacks, damaging the tourism industry, the 1990s military cutbacks affecting the military-dependant part of the island's economy, and the supertyphoons Paka in 1997, and Pongsona in 2002.


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Destiny's Landfall: A History of Guam, Revised Edition

By Robert F. Rogers

Brand: University of Hawaii Press
Released: 2011-06-30
Paperback (408 pages)

Destiny s Landfall: A History of Guam, Revised Edition
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This revised edition of the standard history of Guam is intended for general readers and students of the history, politics, and government of the Pacific region. Its narrative spans more than 450 years, beginning with the initial written records of Guam by members of Magellan 1521 expedition and concluding with the impact of the recent global recession on Guam’s fragile economy.

Guam History, Culture, Travel guide and Tourism: The origin of the Chamorro race, American Settlement, Government, Politics, Economy, People and tradition

By Evan Adams

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (172 pages)

Guam History, Culture, Travel guide and Tourism: The origin of the Chamorro race, American Settlement, Government, Politics, Economy, People and tradition
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During World War II the Japanese landed on Guam just after the Pearl Harbor attack and occupied the island by Dec. 12, 1941, In the 1970s Guam gradually began to move toward representative self-government. The first popularly elected governor ran for office in 1970. More information on Guam history for the entire settlement process and sovereignty… Culture: The modern Chamoru culture is visually manifested in dances, sea navigation, unique cuisines, games {batu, chonka, estuleks and bayogu}, songs and fashion influenced by the transmigration of Pacific peoples. Guahan was administratively taken over by the U.S. in 1898 as spoils of the Spanish American War. In 1521

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July - 10 August 1944) (American Forces in Action Series)

By U.S. Army Center for Military History

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (148 pages)

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July - 10 August 1944) (American Forces in Action Series)
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The seizure of Guam in July-August 1944 added another base to our growing chain of possessions encircling the Japanese homeland. Marine troops made the initial landings on Guam and were aided in capturing the island by army units, comprised chiefly of the 77th Infantry Division. Guam tells the Army's part of the campaign. This study is based upon a first narrative prepared in the field from military records and from notes and interviews recorded during the operation by S/ Sgt. James M. Burns. “Guam: Operations of the 77th Division (21 July-10 August 1944)” is one of a series of fourteen studies of World War II operations originally published by the War Department's Historical Division and now returned to print as part of the Army's commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous clash of arms. These volumes, prepared by professional historians shortly after the events described, provide a concise summary of some of the major campaigns and battles fought by American soldiers.

The Pictorial History of Guam: Liberation 1944

By Don A. Farrell

Brand: Micronesian Productions
Hardcover (192 pages)

The Pictorial History of Guam: Liberation 1944
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Book by Don A. Farrell

A History of Guam

By Lawrence J. Cunningham

Bess Pr Inc
Hardcover (344 pages)

A History of Guam
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Repositioning the Missionary: Rewriting the Histories of Colonialism, Native Catholicism, and Indigeneity in Guam (Pacific Islands Monographs Series)

By Vicente M. Diaz

University of Hawaii Press
Released: 2010-07-13
Paperback (500 pages)

Repositioning the Missionary: Rewriting the Histories of Colonialism, Native Catholicism, and Indigeneity in Guam (Pacific Islands Monographs Series)
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In the vein of an emergent Native Pacific brand of cultural studies, Repositioning the Missionary critically examines the cultural and political stakes of the historic and present-day movement to canonize Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores (1627–1672), the Spanish Jesuit missionary who was martyred by Mata'pang of Guam while establishing the Catholic mission among the Chamorros in the Mariana Islands. The work juxtaposes official, popular, and critical perspectives of the movement to complicate prevailing ideas about colonialism, historiography, and indigenous culture and identity in the Pacific.

The book is divided into three sections. The first, "From Above, Working the Native," focuses exclusively on the narratological reconsolidation of official Roman Catholic Church viewpoints as staked in the historic (seventeenth century) and contemporary (twentieth century) movements to canonize San Vitores, including the symbolic costs of these viewpoints for Native Chamorro cultural and political possibilities not in line with Church views. Section two, "From Below: Working the Saint," shifts attention and perspective to local, competing forms of Chamorro piety. In their effort to canonize San Vitores, Natives also rework the saint to negotiate new cultural and social canons for themselves and in ways that produce new meanings for their island. "From Behind: Transgressive Histories" shifts from official and lay Roman and Chamorro Catholic viewpoints to the author’s own critical project of rendering alternative portrayals of San Vitores and Mata'pang.

Theoretically innovative and provocative, humorous, and inspired, Repositioning the Missionary melds poststructuralist, feminist, Native studies, and cultural studies analytic and political frameworks with an intensely personal voice to model a new critical interdisciplinary approach to the study of indigenous culture and history.14 illus.

Guam History: Perspectives Volume One

Brand: University of Guam
Hardcover (374 pages)

Guam History: Perspectives Volume One
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Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam

By Roger Mansell

Naval Institute Press
Hardcover (288 pages)

Captured: The Forgotten Men of Guam
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In the years before the outbreak of the war in the Pacific, Guam was a paradise for the Navy, Marine and civilian employees of Pan American Airways, who found themselves stationed on the island. However their apprehension about the fate of the island increased as they anticipated a Japanese attack in the fall of 1941. Shortly after attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was bombed and the Japanese invasion soon followed. Since Guam was not heavily fortified it soon fell to the invading Japanese.

In the takeover of the island, the Japanese practiced a swift brutality against the captive Americans as well as native population, and then immediately removed the American military and civilian personnel to Japan. Only a lucky few escaped, including five Navy nurses and dependent Ruby Hellmers and her baby Charlene, who were transported back to America aboard the Swedish ship Gripsholm in mid-1942.

In Captured, Mansell tells the story of the captives from Guam, whose story until now has largely been forgotten. Drawing upon interviews with survivors, diaries and archival records, Mansell documents the movements of American military and civilian men as they went from one Japanese POW camp to another, slowly starving as they performed slave labor for Japanese companies. Meanwhile, he describes the brutal horrors suffered by Guamian natives during Japan's occupation of the island, especially as the Japanese prepared for American forces to re-take this U.S. possession in 1945.

Moving stories of liberation, transportation home, and the aftermath of these horrific experiences are narrated as the book draws to a close. Mansell concludes that America's lack of military preparation, disbelief in Japan's ambitions in the Pacific, and focus on Europe all contributed to the captivity of more than three years of suffering for the forgotten Americans from Guam as the Pacific War raged around them.

Captured was completed by historian Linda Goetz Holmes after the death of Roger Mansell.

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division, July 21-Aug. 10, 1944 (American Forces in Action)

By James M. Burns

Department of the Army
Paperback (145 pages)

Guam: Operations of the 77th Division, July 21-Aug. 10, 1944 (American Forces in Action)
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American Forces in Action Series. Reprint of a book originally published in 1946. Tells the story of the Army's part in the seizure of Guam during World War II. Based upon a first narrative prepared in the field from military records and from notes and interviews recorded during the operation by Staff Sergeant James M. Burns. Covers: Objective: Guam; Assault Phase; Pursuit Phase; Barrigada; and Final Pursuit Phase. Also includes a Guam map, in color, on the inside of the back cover.

Other products produced by the U.S. Army, Center of Military History are available here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/agency/center-military-history-cmh

World War II resources collection can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/world-war-ii



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