For over three hundred years, Guam was
ruled by Spain until 1898 when Guam was ceded to the United States.
Captured by the Japanese in 1941, the island was retaken by the U.S.
three years later. Guam has become strategically the most important
U.S. base in the Pacific.
On March 6, 1521 Ferdinand Magellan landed on Guam marking the first
European contact and the beginning of the island's recorded history.
Soon thereafter, Guam became the place for Spanish galleons to
replenish their supplies of food and water during its annual voyages
from Mexico to the Philippines. Missionaries and soldiers
arrived in the 1600s establishing Guam as a colony for the king of
Spain. Hence, the island's predominantly Catholic community,
culture, architectures, family names with strong Spanish influence.
The estimated population of 2004 was 166,090. Chamorros represent the
largest ethnic group of the island at 37% with the Filipinos
accounting for 26% and Caucasians at 14%. The remainder of
Guam's population accounting for 27% includes Korean, Japanese,
Chinese, and other Pacific Islanders.
Prior to World War II, the majority of the island's residents were
involved in agriculture primarily on a subsistence basis. After the
war, the U.S. Department of Defense established military bases on the
island, opening up multitude of jobs in construction and services for
base operations. Today, while Guam's economy still relys heavily on
the U.S. military spending, the island's tourism industry has grown
rapidly, creating more job opportunities for its people. More than a
million tourists visit Guam each year, making it the leading industry
of the island today.
||-Printing and Publishing
|-Food Processing and Textiles
Guam Federal and Local Holidays
The national and local holidays observed on Guam are New Years, Martin
Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, President's Day, Guam Discovery, Good
Friday, Memorial Day, U.S. Independence Day, Guam Liberation Day,
Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Feast of
Immaculate Concepcion, and Christmas Day.