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Chronology for Guam and Inarajan

Inarajan in 1947.


The following chronology is drawn from Micronesia: A Guide through the Centuries. This excellent resource, produced by the Close Up Foundation, contains detailed, multi-layer chronologies for all five U.S.-affiliated Micronesian entities. Here, we have abbreviated and adapted their information, and added data specific to Inarajan, to highlight events of importance to the discussions on this website.




Last battle of the Spanish-Chamorro wars fought on the island of Aguijan.


Influenza epidemic kills many Chamorros.


The Spanish remove the Jesuits from the Mariana Islands. They are replaced by the Augustinians.


Guam's population reaches a low of 2,989 people.


French Explorer Luis de Freycinet visits Guam and produces a reliable chart of the Mariana Islands.


Control of Guam shifts from Mexico to the Philippines, within the Spanish empire. Monetary support for Guam is reduced. Around this time, Guam becomes a stopping place for Pacific whalers, which became a world industry in the 1820s. Some Chamorro men join the whaling fleets, and learn "whalers' English."


Smallpox is brought to Guam by the American schooner Frost, causing 3,463 deaths and leaving a population of 4,724.


Spanish-American War: United States forces capture and remove Spanish military personnel from Guam. Spain sells remaining Mariana Islands to Germany, marking the political separation of the two entities. Captain Henry Glass takes Guam for the United States. Spain cedes Guam to the US in the Treaty of Paris, and U.S. President McKinley places Guam under the Department of the Navy.


Captain Richard Leary begins term as first American governor of Guam. All Spanish Crown lands are claimed for the U.S. Government.


Severe typhoon followed by a tsunami kills 28 people at Inarajan. Government instigates policies to promote use and literacy of the English language.


World War I: Japan seizes Saipan, and Northern Mariana Islands fall under Japanese control under a League of Nations mandate.


Typhoon devastates Guam.


Government enacts an "English only" policy, initiating the decline of the Chamorro language.


About 2,000 Guamanian leaders sign a petition for U.S. citizenship and send it to U.S. President Roosevelt. The U.S. Navy rejects the petition, saying Chamorro citizenship is not in the American public's best interest.


Father Jesus B. Dueñas is the first priest ordained on Guam.


Strongest typhoon since 1918 strikes Guam.


Japan attacks Guam and Pearl Harbor on the same day. Guam is incorporated into Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and is renamed Omiya Jima (Great Shrine Island). Four years of Japanese occupation begin. Bowing to Japanese by Chamorros becomes mandatory. Father Dueñas and two other priests are the only ordained religious leaders allowed to remain on Guam.


Japanese schools are established, and English is banned. Two Chamorros are publicly executed to show that the death penalty will be imposed for petty offenses.


Chamorros are herded by the Japanese into concentration camps. Atrocities against Chamorros peak with massacres at Merizo, Yigo, and Hagåtña. Father Dueñas is executed. U.S. Fleet Admiral Nimitz conducts the recapture of Guam, and automatically becomes Governor of Guam and the Mariana Islands. July 21 becomes "Liberation Day." Land acquisition by the U.S. military begins with the buildup of U.S. forces on Guam, causing relocations of people and villages.


U.S. Naval Government re-established on Guam. The former subsistence economy starts to give way to a new wage economy.


Citizenship for Guamanians is supported by the Secretary of the Navy. Guam achieves limited home rule.


Typhoon Alyn strikes Guam. By this time, the U.S. military either "owns" or occupies nearly 75% of Guam's usable land area. Guam Congress stages a walkout, and the transfer to a civilian government takes place.


U.S. President Truman signs the Organic Act of Guam, establishing a civilian government and granting citizenship to all Guamanians.


Typhoon Alice causes extensive damage on Guam.


A 12-room elementary school is constructed in Inarajan.


Typhoon Lola strikes Guam.


Super Typhoon Karen hits with 255 mph winds, causing massive destruction. Many Inarajan residents begin to relocate up to Malojloj. U.S. Congress approves $45 million for rehabilitation. Also: lifting of security clearance on Guam begins tourism boom.


NASA Apollo tracking station is dedicated, in the Dåndan region of Inarajan. Pan American islands begins service between Guam and Japan.


University of Guam is named, formerly the College of Guam (1959) and before that, the Territorial College of Guam (1952).


Though Northern Mariana voters seek reunification with Guam, Guam voters reject the proposal.


Japanese Sergeant Yokoi, a WWII straggler, is captured by two Chamorro hunters. He had been living in a small cave on the Inarajan side of the Ugum river. Today his cave can be seen at Talofofo Falls Park.


Super Typhoon Pamela strikes with winds of 190 mph, devastating the island and leaving 5,000 people homeless.


A constitution for Guam's self-government is completed.


Typhoon Russ strikes Guam around Christmas time.


Master belembaotuyan player Jesus Meno Crisostomo from Inarajan passes away at the age of 81.


Super Typhoon Paka hits Guam.


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