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Guam(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 (2010 pop. 53,883), c.185 sq mi (479 sq km), comprising 16 islands (6 inhabited) of the Marianas chain (all except Guam), in the W
..... Click the link for more information. ), an unincorporated territory of the United States (2010 pop. 159,358), 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
, 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
..... Click the link for more information. (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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
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.
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
PO Box 2950
Hagatna, Guam 96932 011-671-472-8931 fax: 011-671-477-4826 www.guamgovernor.net firstname.lastname@example.org
Lieutenant Governor PO Box 2950 Hagatna, Guam 96932 011-671-475-9380 fax: 011-671-47-2007 www.guamltgovernor.org email@example.com
Public Library System Nieves M. Flores Memorial Library 254 Martyr St Hagatna, Guam 96910 011-671-475-4573 fax: 011-671-477-9777 gpls.guam.gov firstname.lastname@example.org
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