Timeline of Guam
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One of the Marianas, a group of 15 islands in the
Pacific, E. of the Philippines formerly mandated to Japan and now
under US trusteeship. Saipan is part of the Marianas. Guam is
just 30 miles long.
(WUD, 1994, p.876, 1261)(AP,
The commonwealth is exempt from American labor, immigration and
(SFC, 8/10/99, p.A3)
1500BC In Guam the pre-latte
period dates to about this time when the first wave of migration is
believed to have taken place. Between 2006 and 2008, excavations at
the Naton Beach site turned up more than 400 burials from the
pre-latte and latte periods of prehistoric Guam.
950 Guam’s latte period refers
to the time when lattes were first introduced about this time and
continued up to the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Latte
stones consist of a pillar capped by a hemispherical stone capital.
1521 March 6, Magellan made
landfall at the island of Guam in the Marianas.
1668 The Spaniards established
a permanent settlement on Guam. They forced the Chamorros to convert
to Catholicism. Under Spanish rule the Chamorro numbers were reduced
to some 2,000.
(SFEC, 3/7/99,Z1 p.4)
1672 Apr 2, Pedro Calungsod
(b.1654), a Filipino teenager, was killed in Tumon, Guam, along with
Diego Luis de San Vitores, his Jesuit missionary priest, by natives
resisting their conversion efforts. In 2012 Pedro was named a saint
in the Catholic church.
1720 The Spanish quashed
Chamorro resistance and forcibly evacuated to Guam all Chamorros on
Saipan and the other Northern Marianas.
(SFEC, 3/7/99, Z1 p.4)
1810 A typhoon devastated the
Caroline Islands, 500 miles south of the Marianas. The survivors
sailed to Guam but only half survived. Spanish authorities sent the
Carolinians to Saipan and Tinian to manage the Spanish cattle herds.
(SFEC, 3/7/99, Z1 p.4)
1880s The Spanish began to
allow the Chamorros to return from Guam to the Northern Marianas.
Successive Spanish, German, Japanese and American rulers favored the
Chamorros over the traditionalist semi-nude Carolinians.
(SFEC, 3/7/99, Z1 p.4)
1898 Jun 20, During the
Spanish-American War on the way to the Philippines to fight the
Spanish, the U.S. Navy cruiser Charleston seized the island of Guam.
(AP, 6/20/98)(HN, 6/20/98)
1898 Jun 21, Guam became a US
territory. [see Jun 20, Jul 21]
1898 Aug 12, Fighting in the
Spanish-American War came to an end. The peace protocol ending the
Spanish-American War was signed Dec 10 after three months and 22
days of hostilities. 460 US soldiers died in battle. The US paid
Spain $20 million to vacate Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the
Philippines. Over the next 3 years US casualties in the Philippines
war totaled over 4,000.
(AP, 8/12/97)(WSJ, 2/23/98, p.A20)(HN,
8/12/00)(SSFC, 3/30/03, p.D1)(WSJ, 7/2/03, p.B1)
1898 Dec 10, The United States
and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the Spanish-American
War. This ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam to the United
States. The US Senate ratified the treaty February 6, 1899. The US
military governed Puerto Rico from October 1898 until May 1900, when
the US Congress instituted a civil government. The civil government
underwent many changes until a Constitutional Assembly formed in
1950 and established a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which was
proclaimed on July 25, 1952. [see Aug 12]
(AP, 12/10/97)(HN, 12/10/98)(HNQ, 7/28/01)
1898 Guam became a US naval
base after the Spanish-American War.
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)
1903 Jul 3, The first cable
across the Pacific Ocean was spliced between Honolulu, Midway, Guam
and Manila. [see Jul 4]
1903 Jul 4, Pacific Cable (SF,
Hawaii, Guam, Philippines) opened, and Pres. Teddy Roosevelt sent a
message. [see Jul 3]
1941 Dec 10, Japanese troops
invaded the Filipino island of Luzon and overran Guam.
(WUD, 1944, p.1683)(HN, 12/10/98)(MC, 12/10/01)
1941 Dec 18, Defended by 610
fighting men, the American-held island of Guam fell to more than
5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
1944 Feb 25, U.S. forces
destroyed 135 planes in Marianas and Guam.
1944 Jun 11, US carrier-based
planes attacked Japanese airfields on Guam, Rota, Saipan and Tinian
islands, preparing for the invasion of Saipan. US naval and air
bombardments lasted from 11–13 June 1944, involving 216 carrier
aircraft and land-based B-24 bombers from the Marshall Islands.
1944 Jul 21, US Army and Marine
forces landed on Guam in the Marianas during WW II.
(AP, 7/21/97)(HN, 7/21/98)
1944 Jul 26, There was a
Japanese suicide attack on US lines in Guam.
1944 Jul 27, U.S. troops
completed the liberation of Guam.
1944 Aug 8, On the island of
Guam US Marine Corps patrols from the 21st Regiment discovered 45
bodies of young Chamorro men in Chagui'an, beheaded and with their
hands tied behind their backs. The site of the massacre was later
disputed as the Guam Preservation Trust moved to put the Chagui'an
Massacre site in Yigo into the National Register of Historic Places.
1944 Aug 10, During World War
II, American forces overcame Japanese resistance on Guam.
1944 The Japanese forced the
indigenous people into slave labor.
(SFEC, 3/7/99,Z1 p.4)
c1946 The brown tree snake,
Boiga irregularis, arrived on Guam shortly after WW II and began to
feed on the native bird population. By 1998 an estimated 9 of 11
native birds were eliminated.
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A8)(WSJ, 7/1/99, p.B1)
1947-1978 The US governed the Northern Marianas
Islands as a UN Trust Territory. The natives largely abandoned
fishing and Spam and Budweiser became staples.
(SFEC, 3/7/99,Z1 p.4)
1949 Pres. Truman appointed
Carlton Skinner (d.2004) as the 1st civilian governor of Guam.
Skinner established the island‘s 1st university and wrote a
(SSFC, 8/29/04, p.B7)
1969 Jul 25, The Nixon Doctrine
was put forth in a press conference in Guam. He stated that the US
henceforth expected its Asian allies to take care of their own
1970s In the late 70s
Washington signed a covenant whereby Saipan became the capital of
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The 34,000
permanent residents became US citizens but could not in US
presidential elections. The CNMI was allowed to set its own tax,
immigration and labor policies.
(WSJ, 2/20/97, p.A20)
1972 Jan 24, In Guam
Shoichi Yokoi (d.1997 at 82), a WWII Japanese soldier, was found by
hunters near the Talofofo River. He had survived since 1944 in
adherence to his army code of never surrendering. Yokoi returned to
Japan as a national hero: "It is with much embarrassment that I
1975 In local elections 78.8%
of the residents approved a covenant under which the Northern
Marianas would become a US Commonwealth.
(SFEC, 3/7/99,Z1 p.4)
1990 Guam passed a law that
prohibited nearly all abortion procedures. In 1992 The U.S. Supreme
Court sustained women's basic right to abortion, voting 6-3 against
reviving the Guam law.
1994 Guam began to use Jack
Russell terriers to check outgoing cargo for brown tree snakes.
(SFC, 7/25/98, p.A8)
1995 May, A Kmart store opened
(WSJ, 7/12/99, p.A17)
1997 Jun 10, It was reported
that Gov. Froilan Tenorio and Rep. Heinz Hofschneider had proposed a
Parental Choice Scholarship Program that would be implemented in the
fall. Every student would get a $1500 scholarship for the school of
(WSJ, 6/10/97, p.A16)
1997 Aug 6, Korean Air Flight
801 from Seoul, a Boeing 747-300 jumbo jet, crashed into a hillside
a short distance from Guam’s Agana International Airport killing 228
with 26 survivors. A programming glitch in the ground radar system
was later identified as a contributing factor but not the cause.
p.A1)(AP, 8/6/98)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1999 Dec 12, On Guam a
referendum was scheduled to choose independence, US statehood or
free association status.
(SFC, 11/24/98, p.A14)
1999 On Guam a new strategy to
control the brown tree snakes used aspirin, toxic to the snakes,
inserted into frozen baby mice.
(WSJ, 7/1/99, p.B1)
2001 Mar 23, It was reported
that 22 Guam teenagers had committed suicide over the past 26
months. Members of a secretive club called Prestigious Angels
promised to kill themselves if their friends would follow.
(SFC, 3/23/01, p.D6)
2002 Dec 8, Typhoon Pongsona
hit Guam with wind gusts of more than 180 mph. The U.S. territory
was declared a federal disaster area.
2003 Aug 8, A US federal judge
ruled that some 264,000 square miles of submerged lands in the
Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth, belong to the United
2004 Mar 31, Air America Radio
went live in 3 of largest US markets with a left-leaning,
round-the-clock, talk format featuring Al Franken and Janeane
Garofalo. Air America was conceived by Anita and Sheldon Drobny of
Chicago. The idea was purchased by Guam entrepreneurs Evan M. Cohen
and Rex Sorensen, who resigned May 5.
(SFC, 3/31/04, p.C1)(WSJ, 6/21/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 20, Former Guam Gov.
Carl Gutierrez (1995-2003) was acquitted on charges he used
government workers and public money to build and improve his
2005 Jan 7, The nuclear
submarine USS San Francisco ran aground 350 miles off the Pacific
Ocean territory of Guam, injuring about 20 crew members. One died
the next day.
(AP, 1/8/05)(AP, 1/9/05)
2005 Feb 15, The Guam-based
Citizens Security Bank (CSB) ended credit card and other services to
the Bank of Marshall Islands. Residents of the Marshall Islands will
be unable to use their credit cards after the central Pacific
nation's leading bank was cut off from a US partner by the
anti-terrorist Patriot Act.
2005 Guam’s population was
(SSFC, 10/2/05, p.C3)
2006 Jun 20, One of the largest
US military exercises in decades got underway off Guam island in the
2008 Feb 23, A B-2 stealth
bomber crashed on take-off from the Pacific island of Guam, the
first such incident involving the futuristic craft. Both pilots on
board ejected safely as the 1.2-billion-dollar radar-evading plane
went down at Andersen airbase.
2008 May 4, Democrat Barack
Obama beat rival Hillary Clinton by just 7 votes in Guam's
nominating contest after record numbers of residents voted in the
tiny US territory's primary.
2008 Jul 21, A US B-52 bomber
that was due to fly in a Liberation Day parade in the US territory
of Guam crashed into the Pacific Ocean soon after take-off. All of
the bomber's six-man crew were killed.
(AFP, 7/21/08)(AP, 7/23/08)
2009 Feb 17, In Japan US
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned North Korea against
following through on a threatened missile launch, saying it would
damage its prospects for improved relations with the United States
and the world. Clinton also signed an agreement with Japan that will
move 8,000 Marines off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to
the US territory of Guam.
2011 Japanese accounted for 73
percent of the 1.1 million visitors to Guam in this fiscal year.
2013 Feb 12, In Guam a man
drove a Toyota Yaris onto a sidewalk striking seven tourists at an
upscale shopping area fronting the Outrigger Guam Resort in Tumon
Bay. Chad Ryan DeSoto (21) of Tamuning was charged with two counts
of murder, 13 counts of attempted murder and 13 counts of aggravated
assault. One of the wounded died the next day.
(AP, 2/12/13)(AP, 2/14/13)
2013 Feb 22, American
scientists prepared to drop dead mice laced with painkillers on
Guam's jungle canopy as a prescription for the brown tree snake, a
headache that has caused Guam misery for more than 60 years.
2013 Apr 3, The United States
said it will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it
from North Korea, as the US military adjusts to what US Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a "real and clear danger" from
2013 The population of Guam was
2014 Nov 6, A Guam jury
convicted three people of mailing drugs from Las Vegas to Guam. Nine
other defendants signed plea deals in the case.
2015 Jan 28, A Guam attorney
agreed to drop his legal challenge to a voter-approved medical
marijuana initiative. Howard Trapp had filed a federal lawsuit
against the Guam Election Commission in late October to prevent it
from certifying the results of the November medical marijuana vote.
2015 Apr 15, Guam’s attorney
general directed officials to immediately begin processing same-sex
(SFC, 4/16/15, p.A7)
2015 Jun 5, Guam Gov. Eddie
Calvo said marriage license applications from same-sex couples will
be accepted after a federal judge's decision made the island the
first US territory to recognize gay marriage. The decision goes into
effect at 8 a.m. on June 9, when gay couples can begin applying for
2015 Jul 12, Guam's war against
the coconut rhinoceros beetles, which have ravaged many coconut
trees, was reported to have become more challenging as the beetles
seemed to have developed an immunity to the Oryctes nudivrus, which
has been used to kill the beetles.
2015 Oct 21, Guam authorities
arrested Lourdes Fernandez Blas (44), a Department of Revenue and
Taxation employee, suspected of taking bribes while on the job. Two
other suspects in the case, Kupwo Kelep Kerwin (30) and Ringko
Sammurai (39), were also arrested and all three were released.
2016 Jan, The Guam Legislature
voted last month in favor of expanding the Natasha Smoking Act pf
2005 to include bars in the list of establishments where indoor
smoking is prohibited. The new provision takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.
2016 Mar 16, A US federal court
judge ordered the government of Guam to pay more than $85,000 in
legal fees for a same-sex couple who sued Gov. Eddie Calvo after
they were denied a marriage application last year.
2016 May 4, In Guam Ricky
Sanchez (39), a former Guam Office of Homeland Security employee,
pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to have a package of
methamphetamine mailed to the office.
2016 May 27, The president of
the University of Guam said Chamorros must learn to speak their
language now if they want it to survive. The UN Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization has included Chamorro on its
list of languages in danger of extinction.
2016 Jun 6, Pope Francis named
a special administrator for the Catholic Church on the Pacific
island of Guam after its archbishop was accused of sexually abusing
young boys and of keeping church abuse policies weak to protect
2016 Jun 15, In Guam Roland
Paul L. Sondia (54) said that he was a 15-year-old altar boy when
Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him during a sleepover in
a church rectory in summer 1977, when Apuron was a parish priest.
Apuron was convicted this year in a secret Vatican trial and
(AP, 6/15/16)(SFC, 8/9/19, p.A5)
2016 Jul 1, A new report from
Guam's public auditor said the island received more than $550
million from the federal government in fiscal year 2015.
2016 Dec 23, Pres. Barack Obama
signed the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act awarding native
islanders payments of $10,000 to $25,000 for their suffering at the
hands of imperial Japan during WWII. Payments began in 2020.
(https://tinyurl.com/qs5xc8v)(SFC, 2/28/20, p.A7)
2017 Feb, Scientists reported
that the deepest ocean trenches are loaded with pollutants.
Amphilopods, a type of crustacean, captured in the Mariana trench
off Guam and the Kermadec trench off New Zealand had levels of
polychlorinated biphenyls, once widely used in electrical equipment,
that were almost off the scale.
(Econ, 2/18/17, p.67)
2017 Feb, Vatican-based
Cardinal Raymond Burke, the most outspoken critic of Pope Francis,
spent two days in Guam presiding over the trial of Archbishop
Anthony Apuron, who was accused of molesting altar boys.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.62)
2017 Mar 9, Guam lawmakers
unanimously passed the measure raising the legal age to use or
purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 stating Jan. 1, 2018. Within
weeks the measure lapsed into law after the governor took no
2017 Aug 9, North Korea said it
was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, which is home to
about 163,000 people and a US military base that includes a
submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
2017 Aug 10, North Korea
dismissed warnings by US President Donald Trump that it would face
"fire and fury" if it threatened the United States and outlined
detailed plans on for a missile strike near the US Pacific territory
2017 Aug 15, In Guam Grammy
Award-winning singer Yvonne Elliman-Alexander (65) and her husband
were arrested and charged with illegal drug possession after dogs
sniffed out methamphetamine and marijuana as they arrived on the
island for a benefit concert at a school.
2017 Aug 15, North Korean state
media said leader Kim Jong Un has delayed a decision on firing
missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States
does next, as South Korea's president said Seoul would seek to
prevent war by all means. North Korea's military presented Kim Jong
Un with plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam and "wring
the windpipes of the Yankees," even as both Koreas and the United
States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis.
(Reuters, 8/15/17)(AP, 8/15/17)
2017 Oct 16, Guam's territorial
veterinarian said the island has four animal control officers who
field as many as 30 stray dog calls daily. A draft bill crafted by
the island's Stray Dog Committee aimed at decreasing Guam's stray
dog population by 75 percent over the next 18 months, part of a plan
to reduce the island's population of about 25,000 stray dogs, about
one stray dog for every seven residents.
2017 Oct 26, A US Postal
Service official said inspectors so far this year have intercepted
at least 60 pounds (27 kg) of methamphetamine mailed to Guam.
2017 Nov 3, Taiwanese President
Tsai Ing-wen arrived on the US Pacific island of Guam on her way
back from visiting diplomatic allies in the Pacific. The trip caused
strong objections from China, which claims Taiwan as its own. Her
trip included two days in Hawaii before she headed on to Tuvalu, the
Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands.
2017 Dec 5, The European Union
put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of
unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American
Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,
Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia,
Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over
40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are
fully committed to reforms.
2018 Mar 16, A Vatican tribunal
sacked Guam archbishop Anthony Apuron after finding him "guilty of
certain accusations." He had been accused of sexually abusing
minors in the 1970s.
2018 Apr 3, It was reported
that Timothy J. Cislo, a former US Federal Aviation Administration
safety inspector, pleaded guilty in Guam last week to three counts
of honest services wire fraud. Cislo was accused of issuing
certificates to Hansen Helicopters Inc. without inspecting the
helicopters in exchange for an airplane for his personal use.
2018 Oct 10, Father Louis
Brouillard (97) died in Minnesota. He was removed from public
ministry in 1985, but continued to receive a stipend from the
church. In 2016 he signed a sworn statement admitting to sexually
abusing at least 20 children in Guam. In 2019 more than 220 former
altar boys, students and Boy Scouts were suing the US territory's
Catholic archdiocese over sexual assaults by 35 clergy, teachers and
2018 Nov 7, Guam's Catholic
church said it will file for bankruptcy — a move that will allow the
archdiocese to avoid trial in dozens of lawsuits alleging child
sexual abuse by priests and move toward settlements.
2019 Jan 16, Guam's archdiocese
of Agana filed for bankruptcy protection, estimating at least $45
million in liabilities over sexual assaults by Catholic clergy.
(http://tinyurl.com/yy9a8bvv)(SFC, 8/9/19, p.A5)
2019 Apr 1, The Pacific Daily
News reported that More than 350 Philippine workers have been
approved by the government of Guam to work at projects on the
2019 Apr 4, The Vatican upheld
its conviction of Guam's ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron for
sexually abusing minors and added a further penalty on appeal that
effectively prevents him from presenting himself as a bishop.
2019 Apr 6, Pope Francis
formally named Monsignor Michael Byrnes as Guam's archbishop
following the definitive sex abuse verdict against his predecessor.
2019 Apr 9, The Catholic Church
in Guam said it does not agree that its parishes and schools should
be sold to settle more than 200 clergy sexual abuse claims.
2019 Jun 3, The Pacific Daily
News reported that although abortions are legal on Guam, no doctors
there have offered the procedure since the last abortion provider
retired last year. Guam law allows abortions within 13 weeks by
2019 Jun 14, In Guam a Catholic
group protested the governor's plan to recruit abortion providers to
the US territory where no doctors are currently willing to terminate
2019 Sep 28, It was reported
that President Donald Trump is raising a large chunk of the money
for his border wall with Mexico by deferring several military
construction projects slated for Guam, a strategic hub for US forces
in the Pacific.
2020 Mar 25, US Navy and Marine
Corps service members in Guam were ordered to break their own
quarantine to set up makeshift shelters for US troops coming off a
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, where an outbreak of the novel
coronavirus was rapidly spreading within the hulls of the ship.
(The Daily Beast, 3/26/20)
2020 Mar 27, The US Navy, the
military service hit hardest by the coronavirus, scrambled to
contain its first at-sea outbreak, with at least two dozen infected
aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam, one of 11 active aircraft
carriers whose mission is central to the Pentagon's strategy for
deterring war with China and Iran.
2020 Mar 30, The captain of the
USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, docked in Guam, asked for
permission to isolate the bulk of his roughly 5,000 crew members on
shore, which would take the warship out of duty in an effort to save
lives. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier said the spread of the disease is
ongoing and accelerating and that removing all but 10% of the crew
is a “necessary risk” in order to stop the spread of the virus. A
day later the US Navy promised to isolate crew members ashore for
rotating quarantine within 24 hours.
(AP, 4/1/20)(SFC, 4/1/20, p.A1)
2020 Apr 1, US Navy officials
said nearly 3,000 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft
carrier now docked in Guam, where the coronavirus has spread, will
be taken off the ship by April 3.
2020 Apr 2, Capt. Brett Crozier
of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier was fired by Navy
leaders who said he created a panic by sending his memo pleading for
help to too many people. Crozier had raised warnings the ship was
facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus and asked for
permission to isolate the bulk of his crew members on shore in Guam.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said commander “demonstrated
extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis. The decision to
remove Crozier was immediately condemned by members of the House
Armed Services Committee.
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