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

By Robert F. Rogers

Brand: Univ of Hawaii Pr
Paperback (392 pages)

Destiny s Landfall: A History of Guam
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Product Description:
This abundantly illustrated and richly documented history provides a comprehensive look at one of the world's last colonies. Rogers evokes the dramatic but little-known saga of Guam's people from the precontact era to Spanish domination, from colonial rule under a US naval government to the massive military invasions of World War II, and on through to the present.

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

Robinson Crusoe, USN: The Adventures of George R. Tweed Rm1c on Japanese-Held Guam

By George R. Tweed

Brand: Westholme Publishing
Released: 2010-04-19
Paperback (280 pages)

Robinson Crusoe, USN: The Adventures of George R. Tweed Rm1c on Japanese-Held Guam
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"In many ways this book is superior to the Robinson Crusoe we read as children. Tweed was confronted by greater dangers and greater difficulties. And his ingenuity was also greater: Electric lights, a radio, an elaborate alarm system, furniture, clothing, these were some of the things Tweed contrived during his 2 1/2 years of dangerous exile. Readers will marvel at the tenacity and will to live of a fellow man. . . . This is a book to read. It is also a book to own; your children and your grandchildren will want to read it some day.” —Springfield Republican

“Excellent.” —Library Journal 

At the same time as the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan captured American Guam. Given the choice of surrendering or being taken prisoner, George R. Tweed escaped into the countryside. Aided by Chamorro natives who risked their lives to keep him safe, Tweed survived for two and a half years until he was eventually rescued by the U.S. Navy.

Chamorro Legends on the Island of Guam (Marc Publications Series)

By Mavis Warner Van Peenen

Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center
Released: 2009-05-31
Hardcover (164 pages)

Chamorro Legends on the Island of Guam (Marc Publications Series)
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"Van Peenen’s little book is one of the few records of Chamorro oral tradition and is therefore an invaluable source for cultural memory as well as the study of how Chamorro identity changed from centuries of cultural submergence, and clearly bears the marks of cultural domination. . . . Despite her politically incorrect diversions, Van Peenen has done a great service for Chamorro culture and identity." ―from the Introduction by John A. Peterson

Text in English and Spanish

The Sacrifice of Guam, 1919-1943 (The Pictorial History of Guam)

By Don A. Farrell

Micronesian Productions
Hardcover (251 pages)

The Sacrifice of Guam, 1919-1943 (The Pictorial History of Guam)
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A History of Guam

By Lawrence J. Cunningham

Bess Pr Inc
Hardcover (344 pages)

A History of Guam
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Product Description:
Hard cover textbook written for elementary school students. This is a valuable reference for any student of Guam's history. Enhanced by historical photos from Guam's museum collections, as well as modern color photos, the carefully researched text brings to life the people and events from ancient to contemporary Guam.

Saipan and Guam [Illustrated]: The Official Marine Corps History of the Marianas Battles of World War Two

By US Marine Corps Historical Branch

Released: 2015-08-29
Kindle Edition (305 pages)

Saipan and Guam [Illustrated]: The Official Marine Corps History of the Marianas Battles of World War Two
 
Product Description:
The official Marine Corps history of the World War Two battles in Saipan and Guam. The Marianas campaign was a turning point in the Second World War. Illustrated.

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage

By James Bradley

Bradley, James
Paperback (464 pages)

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
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  • ISBN13: 9780316159432
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Product Description:
The classic New York Times bestselling story of heroism and sacrifice--by the author of Flags of Our Fathers, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage.

This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. What happened to the other eight remained a secret for almost 60 years.

After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth, and not even the families of the airmen were informed of what happened to their sons. Their fate remained a mystery--until now.

FLYBOYS is a tale of courage and daring, of war and death, of men and hope. It will make you proud and it will break your heart.

Bundschu Ridge: at the tip of the spear during the liberation of Guam

By Scott W. Carmichael

Released: 2014-06-09
Kindle Edition (377 pages)

Bundschu Ridge: at the tip of the spear during the liberation of Guam
 
Product Description:
Geary Bundschu's maternal grandfather introduced discriminatory immigration legislation into the United States Congress near the turn of the 19th century which prevented Chinese, and eventually all Asians - including the Chamorro people of Guam, who were already recognized by Congress as American nationals - from attaining American citizenship through the naturalization process. Some 50 years later, Cpt. Geary R. Bundschu, USMC, the grandson, served at the very tip of the American spear to free the Chamorro people of Guam from captivity at the hands of the Japanese empire. He lost his life in that effort on a heavily defended ridge located just inland from the northern landing zone which now bears his name: Bundschu Ridge. His grandfather was denounced for decades as the very bane of the Chamorro people. Geary R. Bundschu, the grandson, redeemed his family's honor and became the Chamorro's unsung hero. Few know his story. His blood stains their soil.

Bundschu Ridge documents the failed assault by Able company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment (A/1/3) against a ridge which dominated the northern landing zone during the WWII amphibious operation to liberate Guam. Cpt. Geary R. Bundschu, a veteran of the Bougainville campaign, volunteered for the assignment. Approximately 60% of his company was killed or wounded during three frontal assaults conducted on near-vertical terrain against a vastly superior enemy force before dusk on W-Day. Bundschu was killed in action during the final assault. Veteran UP war correspondent Charles P. Arnot documented the courage exhibited by Bundschu and his men in a dispatch submitted days later. But details of the battle were lost to history until now.

The author interviewed more than a dozen members of A/1/3 who fought on Bundschu Ridge, including the only surviving company officers, and collected additional anecdotal information about the company and the battle from family members of A/1/3 veterans. Research findings are well documented in over 600 footnotes. The author placed the battle into an historical context for readers who lack background on Guam's place in American history and Japan's march toward empire and expansion in the Pacific.

Geary R. Bundschu was a remarkable young man who volunteered to serve in the uniformed service of his country – months before the Japanese assault against Pearl Harbor. He was a patriot. And he was a Marine, through and through. One of his best friends, Gen. Louis H. Wilson, Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for valor exhibited during the operation to liberate Guam, and who later served as Commandant of the Marine Corps, honored him in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam, by placing a bronze plaque in Nimitz House to commemorate the valor of the men of A/1/3 who attempted to seize Bundschu Ridge.

The author served for a period of 26 years as a Special Agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and for 4 years prior to that service as a Special Agent of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). He served as a Chinese-Mandarin linguist while on active-duty with the U.S. Navy, and received a bachelor of arts degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Washington. He is the author of three additional non-fiction books, all of which are available on Amazon.com.

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
Hardcover (280 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.



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