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(gwäm), Chamorro Guåhan, officially Territory of Guam, the largest, most populous, and southernmost of the Mariana Islands (see also Northern Mariana IslandsNorthern Mariana Islands
, officially Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a self-governing entity in association with the United States (2015 est. pop. 55,000), c.
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), an unincorporated territory of the United States (2015 est. pop. 162,000), 209 sq mi (541 sq km), W Pacific. The southern part of the island is mountainous, rising on Mt. Lamlam to 1,332 ft (406 m). The capital, HagåtñaHagåtña
or Agaña
, city (2010 pop. 1,051), capital of the island of Guam, W Pacific, in the Mariana Islands. It is the administrative center of Guam, and many of the city's economic activities are related to the provision of goods and services to
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 (Agaña), on the central W coast, is the seat of government, and Apra Harbor, a large U.S. naval base, is nearby. Dededo, in NW Guam, is the most populous municipality. Andersen Air Force Base is in Yigo, in NE Guam. The interior of the island is dense jungle; most of the villages are on the coast.

Guamanians are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in U.S. elections. Guam's permanent inhabitants are predominantly of native Chamorro stock (37%) or Filipino descent (26%); the rest of the population mainly consists of other Pacific Islanders, Caucasians, and other persons of Asian descent. The people are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. English, Chamorro, and Philippine languages are the main languages; efforts to preserve the Chamorro language began in the 1990s. Some one fourth of the population consists of U.S. military personnel and their dependents.

Providing goods and services for the huge U.S. bases is the major industry. Tourism, especially from Japan and South Korea, is also important, and the territorial government is a significant employer. There is some light industry, and Guam is an important transshipment center for Micronesia and other Pacific islands. Some inhabitants practice subsistence farming, but large-scale agriculture is no longer possible because military installations occupy so much land. Local leaders began pressing for access to military land in the 1990s, and several facilities have been turned over.

Guam is governed under the 1950 Organic Act of Guam. The president of the United States is the head of state. The government is headed by a governor, who is popularly elected for a four-year term and is eligible for a second term. Members of the unicameral 15-seat Legislature are popularly elected for two-year terms. Guam also is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by an elected nonvoting delegate.

Human artifacts dating from c.1500 B.C. have been found on Guam, but the first settlement may have occurred as much as 500 or more years earlier. Archaelogical evidence suggests that early settlement may have occurred in two waves, with the first occurring c.1500 B.C. or before and the second occurring c.A.D. 1000. Visited in 1521 by Ferdinand MagellanMagellan, Ferdinand
, Port. Fernão de Magalhães, Span. Fernando de Magallanes, c.1480–1521, Portuguese navigator who sailed for Portugal and Spain. Born of a noble family, he was reared as a page in the royal household.
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, Guam was claimed and controlled by Spain until 1898, when it was taken by the United States in the Spanish-American WarSpanish-American War,
1898, brief conflict between Spain and the United States arising out of Spanish policies in Cuba. It was, to a large degree, brought about by the efforts of U.S. expansionists.
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. After 1917, Guam, under the Dept. of the Navy, was governed by a naval officer who was advised by a local congress. Guam was captured by Japan in 1941, was retaken by U.S. forces in 1944, and became a major base for assaults on the Japanese mainland.

The Organic Act of 1950 transferred jurisdiction to the Dept. of the Interior. During the Vietnam War in the 1960s Guam was an important base for air assaults. The island's military installations remain strategically important to the United States and are undergoing an expansion in the early 21st cent., with units to be transferred there from Okinawa and other locations.

In 1969 voters rejected unification with the Northern Marianas. Since 1970 the governor has been popularly elected. Guamanians voted in 1987 to seek commonwealth status from the United States. Guam was devastated by typhoons in 1976 and 1992 and suffered a severe earthquake in 1993. Felix Camacho was elected governor in 2002, succeeding Carl T. C. Gutierrez; he was reelected in 2006. Eddie Calvo was elected to the office in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Parks Directory of the United States, 5th Edition. © 2007 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an island in the western Pacific, the largest in the Mariana Islands; US possession. Area, 533.5 sq km. Principal city, A gaña.

The southern portion of the island, with higher elevation (up to 405 m), is of volcanic origin and composed of andesites, whereas the north is low lying with a structure of coral limestone. The coast is for the most part precipitous and fringed with coral reefs. Earthquakes are frequent. The island has a tropical, trade-wind climate, with an average temperature every month of the year of about 26° C and annual precipitation of about 3,000 mm. There are tropical rain forests on the southern and eastern mountain slopes; in the north there are xerophytic grassy savannas.

Guam was discovered in 1571 by Ferdinand Magellan. At the end of the 17th century it was seized by the Spaniards; in 1898, as an outcome of the Spanish-American War, it became a possession of the USA. In the course of World War II it was occupied from December 1941 to July-August 1944 by Japanese forces, and after the war it became one of the largest US naval and air bases in the Pacific.

Approximately one-half of the island’s population consists of indigenous Chamorros (about 50,000; 1969 estimate). Some 40,000 are Americans, primarily military people and personnel servicing the naval base. The inhabitants also include Filipinos, mainly Ilocanos (about 10,000), and Ha-waiians. English is the official language. Catholicism is the religion of most (about 95 percent) of the people. Economic activities include the growing of corn, coffee, bananas, sugarcane, taro, and other tropical crops, as well as fishing and logging.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Guam has been a territory of the U.S. since 1898, but has been allowed autonomy in local affairs since 1950; native inhabitants are citizens of the U.S. but cannot vote in U.S. elections.

Capital: Hagatna (Agana)

Nicknames: Tano I’ManChanorro (Land of the Chamorros); Where America’s Day Begins; America’s Paradise in the Pacific

Bird: Totot (also known as the Mariana fruit dove or love bird; Ptilinopus roseicapilla) Flower: Puti tai nobio or bougainvillea (bougainvillea spectabilis)

Hymn: “Guam Hymn” (“Fanohge Chamorro”)
Languages: Chamorro; English
Tree: Ifil or Ifit (Intsia bijuga)


Government web site:

Office of the Governor
Ufisinan Maga’lahi
Executive Chambers
PO Box 2950

Hagatna, Guam 96932 011-671-472-8931 fax: 011-671-477-4826

Lieutenant Governor PO Box 2950 Hagatna, Guam 96932 011-671-475-9380 fax: 011-671-47-2007

Public Library System Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library 254 Martyr St Hagatna, Guam 96910 011-671-475-4573 fax: 011-671-477-9777

Legal Holidays:

. Our Lady of Camarin DayDec 8
All Souls DayNov 2
Liberation DayJul 21
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


an island in the N Pacific, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas: belonged to Spain from the 17th century until 1898, when it was ceded to the US; site of naval and air force bases. Capital: Aga?a. Pop.: 165 000 (2004 est.). Area: 541 sq. km (209 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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'It was so fun to see such a diverse, eclectic group of people who call Guam home queueing up to enjoy our offerings and to experience the joy of eating delicious food together,' he said.
Guam's location in the far western Pacific Ocean plays a big part in its attraction for Asians on vacation.
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"Definitely, I know Guam is a pretty good target because it's important to the U.S.
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Guam Industrial then filed a claim under the Hull and Machinery Policy with Zurich and Starr.
Azadi has a capacity of 100,000, meaning almost 60 percent of Guam's population of 170,000 could fit in it.
The acquisition also includes the acquisition of dck worldwide, LLC's 55% membership interest in dck-ecc pacific guam, LLC, a joint venture with Environmental Chemical Corp.
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Latest figures show that arrivals from China to Guam rose from 7,068 to 8,939 in 2012, an increase of 26.5 percent compared to 2011.
of Guam) analyzes the Japanese Navy's occupation of Guam and the Guam Minseibu's (the navy's Civil Administration Department) policy during the Pacific War.