Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Guam is one of five American territories with an established civilian government. The capital city is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. In 2015, 161,785 people resided on Guam. Guamanians are American citizens by birth. Guam has an area of 210 sq mi and a population density of 770/sq mi. It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and the largest island in Micronesia. Among its municipalities, Mongmong-Toto-Maite has the highest density at 3,691/sq mi, whereas Inarajan and Umatac have the lowest density at 119/sq mi. The highest point is Mount Lamlam at above sea level.
The Chamorros, Guams indigenous people, settled the island approximately 4,000 years ago. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to visit the island on March 6, 1521. Guam was colonized in 1668 with settlers, like Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. Between the 16th century and the 18th century, Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons. During the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam on June 21, 1898. Under the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Guam to the United States on December 10, 1898. Guam is among the seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations.
Before World War II, Guam and four other territories – American Samoa, Hawaii, Wake Island, and the Philippines – were the only American jurisdictions in the Pacific Ocean. On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, who occupied the island for thirty months. During the occupation, Guamanians were subjected to beheadings, forced labor, rape, and torture.
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