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Guam..."Where America's Day Begins"

Guam is the the westernmost U.S. Territory in the Pacific. It is about three jet hours from Japan and the Philippines, four jet hours from South Korea and Hong Kong, and seven jet hours west of Hawaii. It lies close below the equator. Because of its strategic location, Guam is considered the "Gateway to Asia."

It has been a U.S. territory since it was ceded to the U.S. by Spain in 1898. The Stars and Stripes has flown over it since then, except for 2.5 years of Japanese occupation during WWII.

Its present population is about 170,000 comprising of various ethnicities, and the great majority of the residents are U.S. citizens. The native Chamorros comprise the indigenious population.

Guam was the only U.S. territory to be occupied by the enemy during WWII. It was bombed by Japanese warplanes just four hours after the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor and was occupied two days later. Left virtually defenseless, the superior invading enemy forces landed on Guam shores unopposed and it was not until they entered the city Agana that they were engaged in a pitched firefight by a small contingent of Guam Insular Guard Force and a handful of U.S. Navy personnel and Marines.

During the 30 months of occupation, the Chamorros never capitulated and remained patriotic to Uncle Sam despite execution, torture, forced labor and human indignities committed by the occupying forces.

Following liberation by U.S. forces in July, 1944, the people of Guam -- with massive aid from the U.S. -- perservered as they began to rebuild a new and motivated community to what it is today, a showcase of U.S. democracy at the doorsteps to Asia.

Today, Guam is the most progressive and thriving island community in the Western Pacific. A million of Japanese tourists now come to Guam for pleasure and leisure, thus making tourism the island's major economic booster.

..... For an up-to-date news and views about Guam, get info from the Pacific Daily News and KUAM TV News. Click on LINKING to ... in Index.