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DISTRICT   OF   COLUMBIA                         Territory Index
  • December 12, 1800 - The city of Washington in the District of Columbia becomes the official capital of the United States. Residents of the District are granted the right to vote for president and vice president when the 23rd Amendment was ratified. District of Columbia does not have statehood.
    Motto - Justitia Omnibus  (Latin - Justice for All.)   
- In 1867 Black males are granted the right to vote in local elections.


- Supreme Court, in 1953 bans segregation in Washington, D.C. restaurants.
- Public School integration begins in Washington D.C. in 1954.
- 1961 District residents are granted the right to vote for the president by passage of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution.  
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock

- In 1992 the U.S. House of Representatives approved statehood for the District of Columbia, but the U.S. Senate does not .
- The first woman D.C. Mayor, Sharon Pratt Dixon, takes office in 1992.
- Marion Barry again takes office as Mayor in 1995 for an unprecedented fourth term as Mayor of Washington, District of Columbia.


Sources -
 - -
All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • American Samoa is an unincorporated Territory of the United States.
    Area -
    199 sq. miles        Capital: Pago Pago

    Motto - Samoa, Muamua Le Atua  (Samoan - Samoa, let God be first.)

- Proto-Polynesians, originating in China settled throughout Southeast Asia, some in about 1300 BC had established a community near Upola's western shores. Upols is the is the most populated of the islands and where Pago Pago, the capital is.
- From 1250 The Tongan Wars are waged for over 200 years.
- Dutch Navigator Jacob Roggeveen was first to discover Samoa in 1722.
- Frenchman Louis-Antoine de Bougainville visited the islands in 1768.
- The first European explorer actually lands to explore Samoa in 1799.
- Navy Lt. Wilkes of the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1839 lands on Tutuila.
- From 1800 for the next few decades Missionaries would have a great impact on the Samoans with much of today's village life is centered around the church. In 1830 the London Missionary Society began its work converting the population to Christianity.
- American Troops came to Samoa in 1841 to investigate the killing of an America Citizen.
- Beginning in 1848 until 1873 the Wars For Supremacy were fought by factions that were armed by western merchants.
The United States opens a Naval Station at Pago-Pago in 1872. The High Chief of the eastern Samoan islands granted permission in exchange for military protection.
In the 1889 Treaty of Berlin. Britain, Germany and the United States agreed to recognize the Kingdom of Samoa.
- The 1899 Germany, Britain and the USA, cancelled the 1889 Treaty of Berlin to be able to interfere in the factional fighting over the Samoan throne, threatening a Civil War. The U.S., and Germany divided the Samoan Archipelago. The U.S. took the island of Tutuila leaving the other larger islands to Germany.
- The United States formally occupies the area to be known as American Samoa in 1900 and places it under the control of the U.S. Naval Administration.  American Samoans celebrate the raising of the American Flag on April 17, 1900, every year on that date. Youth will parade the American Flag as well as that of American Samoa.
- U.S. Navy Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley becomes the first "Naval Governor" of American Samoa on February 17, 1900, although he did not hold the actual title of Governor.
Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, Uriel Sebree become the second "Naval Governor" of American Samoa on November 27, 1901.
- The Chiefs of Tutuila (Tutuila is the largest Island of American Samoa)  sign a Deed of Cession for all the islands in 1904.
- Commander William Michael Crose becomes the seventh Naval Governor of American Samoa on November 10, 1910.
- Lieutenant Nathan Woodworth Post becomes the eigth Naval Governor, "acting" of American Samoa on March 4, 1913. He will serve two times, again acting as governor in 1914.
Commander Clark Daniel Stearns at some point in 1913 or 1914 becomes the acting Navy Governor and is releived by Lt. Nathan Woodworth Post on December 6, 1914.
December 6, 1914, Lieutenant Charles Armijo Woodruff, is named the Commandant becoming the Navy Governor of American Samoa on December 5, 1914.

- In 1920 the Samoan Council of Chiefs are organized to oppose the Navy's administration. The opposition began among Samoans, in California, and died out within ten years, not having the support of the Samoan citizens.
- Japan's armament in the late 1920s into the 30s raising the concerns of the U.S. raised the importance of the U.S. presence at Pago-Pago.
- The U.S. entering World War II in 1941 brought service-members to Samoa, introducing better medicine and consumerism. The birthrate increased as the death rate declined.
- In 1925 the British ceded the island of Swains in 1925. The Island had previously been claimed by Britain and the USA.
- The U.S. Department of the Interior is given Administration over the territory of American Samoa in 1951.
- 1952 begins a period of immigration from American Samoa to Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Today Samoans number 69,000 in the Territory with 250,000 on the mainland United States and 20,000 in Hawaii.
- Fish Canneries are built in 1953 with Van Camp and Starkist becoming a major employer in Samoa.
- In 1956 Peter Tali Coleman takes the oath of office to become the first American Samoan Governor.
- America enters the Vietnam War in 1965. Samoa will lose more men per capita than any other American community.
- The U.S. Naval station at Pago-Pago was closed in 1951.
The American Samoa Constitution was adopted on June 1966.
- The Territorial Constitution became effective on July 1st. 1967.
- The Department of Interior dedicates the National Rainforest Park in American Samoa in 1973.
- Fofo Sunia becomes the first official U.S. Representative to Congress from American Samoa in 1980. There were two others prior, but the earlier elections in American Samoa, for U.S. Representative, were not authorized by the Congress.
- On July 16, 1999 Luagalau Levaula Kamu was shot and killed during a political rally. Tow men Leafa Vitale and Toi Aukuso were convicted in 2000 of planning the assassination.
- American Samoa was declared a major disaster area after Hurricane Olaf rampaged through the islands in February, 2005.
- Cyclone Percy pounds Swain's Island in American Samoa in February 2005.

Sources - -
- - - - - - - - - Amerika Samoa, Frederic Koehler Sutter - - - - - -

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Guam, (Territory of Guam) an unincorporated Territory of the United States was ceded to the US in 1898. The Japanese captured the island in 1941and was retaken by the U.S. in 1944. The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important U.S. bases in the Pacific.
    212 sq. miles        Capital: Hagatna (Agana)

- Around 1500 BC the Chamorro of Malay origin were the first settlers on Guam.
- In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan arrived and named the Island "Islas de los Ladrones."
- Spain claimed Guam, Marianas and the Philippines in 1565.
- Jesuit priests arrived in 1668 and renamed the islands, "Marianas."
- A garrison was established at La Hagatna in 1672 after Spain placed Guam under military control.
- Pope Leo XIII reiterated Spain's ownership of the Marianas.
- Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898 after the Spanish-American war
.     © Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock
- The 1898 Treaty of Paris officially ends the Spanish-American War. The U.S. gains possession of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam.
- The U.S. Senate ratifies the Treaty of Paris on February 6, 1899.
- From 1901 to 1922 the U.S. defined Guam as an "unincorporated territory" and that the U.S. Constitution did not fully apply.
- A United States intercept station is established on Guam in 1929.
- During World War II the Japanese attack Guam on December 1, 1941.
- On December 10, 1941 Japanese forces invade, capturing Guam.
- United States forces retake Guam in 1944.
- In 1945 Guam is treated by the U.S. as a "non-self-governing territory."
- The Guam Organic Act of 1950 gave the citizens of Guam American citizenship. It also statuses the island as an unincorporated territory.
- Guam becomes a strategically located base for the Vietnam War from 1954 to 1975.
- The Territorial College of Guam is established in 1952. It will be renamed the University of Guam in 1968
- In 1956 the U.S. stationed nuclear arms on Guam.
- The Naval Clearing Act of 1962 opened Guam for civilian traffic.
- The Governor of Guam had been appointed, it becomes an elected position in 1970.
- Guam begins to elect a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972.
- In 1975 following the fall of South Vietnam, over 100,000 refugees are air-lifted to Guam, then sent through-out the United States.
- A Referendum for a Guam Constitution was rejected in 1979.
- The Naval Base on Guam was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
- In 1996 Guam's population increased with the immigration of more than 6,000 Kurdish refugees.

Sources - - -  - -  -

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Northern Mariana Islands, (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) a commonwealth territory of the United States, are fifteen islands in the Pacific Ocean 125 miles north of Guam. 
    Area -
    172.5  sq. miles        Capital: Saipan

- Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Island for Spain in 1521.
- Spain sells the Islands to Germany in 1899.
- In 1914 the Japanese take over the area establishing a military garrison on Guam.
- In 1944 the U.S. Marines land on Guam to begin the occupation of the area Islands.- The Islands are originally claimed by the United States in 1947.
- In 1947 the Northern Mariana Islands as part of Micronesia becomes a Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and are administered by the United States. 
- Northern Mariana Islands requests separate status negotiations in 1972 and receives agreement of the United States.
- Northern Mariana Islands 1972 delegation reports on separate status intentions at United Nations Trusteeship Council.
- Second session of Marianas Political Status Negotiations Meets in 1973.
- The third session of the Marianas Political Status Negotiations met in late 1973.
- The 4th Session of the Marianas Political Status Negotiations on Saipan in 1974.
- U.S. Department of Interior Secretarial Order No. 2989 effectively separates Northern Mariana Islands from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
- Northern Marianas ceases participation in the Congress of Micronesia in 1976.
- Northern Mariana Islands constitutional convention is convened in 1976 to draft a constitution.
- The citizens vote in 1977 and ratify the new Northern Mariana Islands Constitution.
- Northern Mariana Islands, in 1977, submits to, and receives approval of, President Jimmy Carter, the new constitution. 
- United States allows Northern Mariana Islands citizens entry to The United States as U. S. citizens in 1978.      
   © Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock
- Carlos Camacho becomes the 1st Northern Mariana Islands governor in 1978.
- United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, in 1980, reverses the policy that allowed Northern Mariana Islands citizens entry to the U.S. as though United States citizens. The INS later rescinds the reversal.
- The first two meetings of the Northern Mariana Islands Commission on Federal Laws convened in 1980, in Washington, DC.
- Northern Mariana Islands Commission on Federal Laws met again in 1982.
- 10th meeting of the Northern Mariana Islands Commission on Federal Laws  approve a report to Congress; that welcomes America’s Newest Commonwealth.
- A 1986 Presidential Proclamation terminated the territorial trusteeship and a covenant established between the people of the Northern Marianas and the United States.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 683, 1986, approves termination of trusteeship for the Northern Mariana Islands.
- The United Nations formally ends the trusteeship in 1990.
- U. S. House Resolution 5135 is introduced in 2004, to allow Non-voting representation for the Northern Mariana Islands.

Sources - - - - - - - -

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Puerto Rico (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) is a self governed U. S. Territory that is a bit smaller than Connecticut.  The Island is 110 by 35 miles in size.  The population in 1998 was about 3.7 million.
    Area - 3,427 sq. miles        Capital - San Juan

    Motto - Joannes Est Nomem Ejus  (Latin - John is his name.)

- The Tibes Indians date back as far as 1AD
- Columbus discovered the island of Puerto Rico on his 2nd voyage in 1493.
- Juan Ponce de Leon, past member of Columbus' crew, was appointed by Spain in 1508 to colonize Puerto Rico. His crews would enslave the indigenous Bahamanian Taino Indians for work on Hispaniola.
-  Ponce de Leon was governor of Puerto Rico from 1509 to 1512.
- The first San Juan Cathedral was built in 1512.
- In 1521 the Caparra colony relocated to the entrance of San Juan Bay, on a barrier island.
- The Governor's Mansion was built in 1533 where La Fortaleza would be built.
- The Columbus family relinquished political rights to the island in 1536.
- In 1537 the Spanish built La Fortaleza was built. It was built on the southwestern edge of San Juan overlooking the bay.
- The El Morro watchtower was built in 1538.
- Also known as the El Morro Fortress the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro was began in 1539.
- The San Juan Cathedral, originally built in 1512 was rebuilt in 1549.
- More hornworks were added to the El Morro Fortress in 1585, guarding the approaches by land as Spain and England engage in war.
- The Spanish Armada is defeated in 1588 by English forces.
- British Sir Frances Drake destroys many Spanish settlements in the Caribbean in 1586.
- Sir Frances Drake returned to Panama in 1595, after failing to capture the treasure of a Spanish galleon at La Forteleza. He had been sent on the mission by Queen Elizabeth.
Landing east of San Juan at the Boqueron Inlet Sir George Clifford, 3rd. Earl of Cumberland victoriously attacked San Juan in 1598. After plundering San Juan, 400 of the English died of dysentery when their food spoiled. Those surviving burned the city and set sail.
- 400 soldiers and 46 cannons and Alonso de Mercado, the new governor, were sent by Spain, in 1599, to rebuild San Juan.
- A fleet of 17 ships commanded by Dutch General Bowdoin Hendrik sailed into San Juan attacking and holding the garrison under siege for 3 weeks in 1625. After setting fire to the city the Dutch retreated under a formidable defense by the Spanish.
- In 1638 a wall around San Juan, started four years earlier, was completed.
- In 1765 defense of all Spanish Caribbean ports were upgraded. 
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock
- Foreign immigration was allowed in 1778 by royal decree.
- French historian, Guillaume Raynal, in 1780 said Puerto Rico was,
“in proportion to its size the very best island in the New World.”
- In 1796 Spain sides with the Colonies in the Revolutionary War against England.
- Holding out against a British siege of 68 Ships with 7,000 men in 1797, the Spanish in San Juan played a bluff by holding a procession of women dressed as soldiers. The British bought the bluff and called off the siege.
- The War of 1812 disrupted trade between Puerto Rico and the United States.
- The Spanish royal decree in 1815, "Real Cιdula de Gracias" opened Puerto Rico to world trade.
- Slavery was banned in 1820 but was not enforced.
- Spain's tightening grip had given the Governor almost unlimited powers after 1825. A movement rose calling in the reduction of the governor's power and more representation in local government. Some wanted independence.
- England abolished slavery in 1845 and pressured Spain to ban the slave trade also.
- In 1849 a system of forced labor was set up to harness peasant labor and the large population of squatters.
- The Spanish Abolitionist Society was formed in 1864.
Puerto Rico's Grito de Lares declared Independence on September 23, 1868, only to have the rebellion crushed by Spain.
- Various rebellions began to break out in the latter half of the 1800s.  One rebellion had the town of Lares taken over by a few hundred men who declared themselves independent from Puerto Rico but when attempting to take the next town, their rebellion fell apart. The Creole elite supported the idea of autonomy.
- All who did not own land were required to gather outside of the towns to wait for work. With enforcement difficult, the '1849' law of forced labor was abolished in 1873.
- Slavery is abolished in Puerto Rico in 1873. Slaves were freed, and with pressure from Puerto Rican members of the Spanish Assembly, owners received compensation.
- On May 12, 1898, During the onset of the Spanish-American War, a U.S. fleet shelled El Morro and San Cristobal, for 2 hours before heading for Cuba.
- On July 25, 1898, America lands troops on the southern coast of Puerto Rico at Guanica.
- The 1898 Treaty of Paris officially ends the Spanish-American War on August 12, after 3 months and 22 days of fighting. The U.S. gains possession of the Philippines, Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico, paying Spain 20 million dollars.
- The U.S. military begins to govern the island in October 1898.
- The Treaty of Paris is signed by the U.S. and Spain on December 10, 1898.
- The U.S. Senate ratified the 1898 Treaty of Paris on February 6, 1899. Puerto Rico becomes a U.S. Territory.
- May 1900, The U.S. Congress establishes a Puerto Rico civil government.
- The Puerto Rican government will take many forms over the next 50 years.
- A Constitutional Assembly is formed in 1950.
- American President McKinley, promotes the need for free trade with Puerto Rico.
- The Constitutional Assembly in a new Constitution, would establish the nation as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on July 3, 1952, effective on July 25.
- 1904 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Ricans may enter the U.S. freely, but did not award citizenship.
- The first President to officially visit outside the United States was Theodore Roosevelt on November 9, 1906, when leaving for a trip to Panama and Puerto Rico.
- On November 21, 1906 Theodore Roosevelt pledged American citizenship for the Puerto Rican people.
- In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones Act which gave American citizenship to the Puerto Rican people. The territorial government was separated to match the three American branches of government; Legislative, Judicial and Executive. The Governor and the U.S. President had veto power as well as the U.S. Congress having the power to stop action taken by the Puerto Rico legislature.
- Puerto Rico's last execution in 1927 was of Pascual Ramos who was hanged. He was a farm worker who beheaded his boss with a machete.
- Puerto Rico outlawed capital punishment in 1929.
- Originally the name was "Porto Rico; on May 17, 1932
Congress changed the name to "Puerto Rico."
- Baseball in Puerto Rico begins in 1938.
- Two thirds of the Island of Vieques was established as a military training ground, in 1941, by the U.S. Congress. The citizens who lived there were given just twenty-four hours to move from their homes.
- Puerto Rico gained the right to elect its Governor. Munoz Marin was elected and held the office until 1965.
- President Truman signed the federal statute authorizing the people of Puerto Rico to write their own constitution.
- Puerto Rico ratified their first self composed constitution on March 3, 1952, To become a self-governing commonwealth of the United States of America.
- Puerto Rico elects its second governor, Roberto Sanchez Vilella who served from 1965 to 1969.
- The third Governor of Puerto Rico is elected in 1969 and serves until 1972.
- In 1972 pro-commonwealth candidate Rafael Hernandex Colon is elected governor of Puerto Rico.
- The Island of Culebra was abandoned by the U.S. Navy. Unexploded ordinance was still found as late as 2001.
- The worse disaster of the 20th century in Puerto Rico occurred when 500 people are killed in a mudslide in Ponce on October 7, 1985.
- On September 18, 1989 extensive damage is caused as Hurricane Hugo reaches Puerto Rico, swirling its way toward the U.S. mainland.
- The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 expanded the range of crimes in which the death penalty could be used.
- Hurricane Hortense caused 21 deaths in Puerto Rico, destroying many thousands of homes in 1996.
- In 1998 work stoppages and sabotage occured over the sale of the state ran phone company, Telefonica, to a consortium of U.S. companies led by GTE.
- On July 25, 1998 the Governor calls for a referendum to be voted on in December over statehood.
- On August 13, 1998 Puerto Rico approved a statehood referendum to be held December 13th.
- Hurricane Georges swept through the Caribbean in the fall of 1998, killing 602 people. Puerto Rico was hit on September 21 killing 5 Puerto Ricans.
- On December 13, 1998 a "statehood referendum" failed by just 3.7% with the decision to keep Puerto Rico as a commonwealth; U.S. territory with local autonomy.
- In 1999 50,000 people protested the U.S. Navy's accidental killing of civilians and the use of uranium shells on the island of Vieques.
- In 2000 thousands in San Juan protested U.S. military exercises on Vieques island on August 6th.
- A U.S. federal court ruled that Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections unless it becomes a state or the U.S. constitution is amended to allow it.
- In November, 2000 Sila Calderon, who opposed the U.S. Navy bombing site on Vieques, defeated incumbent Governor Pedro Rossello.
- On December 23, President Clinton creates a task force to study whether Puerto Rico should remain a commonwealth, become a state or be granted independence.
- Navy bombing on Vieques is suspended on March 1, 2001 by the Pentagon. A federal judge ruled on April 26th that military exercises cold resume on Vieques Island. The Navy resumed exercises the next day where 14 protestors are arrested. President Clinton ordered on June 14, that the bombings on Vieques Island be stopped. The Navy begins to use "dummy bombs."
- On April 30, 2003 the U.S. Navy withdrew its use of the Vieques bombing range.
The November 9, 2003 primary election gave the victory to Former Governor Pedro Rosello, running on a pro-statehood platform, to place him in contention in the 2004 general election.
- Miriam Naveira, on December 30, 2003 becomes the first woman to hold a post as chief justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.
- Tropical Storm Jeanne knocks out power, floods roads and killing two people, on September 15, 2004, as it passes over Puerto Rico to later become the 6th hurricane of the season.
In 2004 Anibal Acevedo Vila, is elected and wins a recount to become Governor of Puerto Rico. He opposed the Iraq War and reduction of Puerto Rican troops deployed to Iraq.
- Puerto Ricans voted to endorse a referendum to reduce the government to a one-house legislature on July 10, 2005.
- Over 1000 protestors march San Juan chanting anti-FBI slogans and carrying Puerto Rican flags on February 26, 2006.
- Smoking in public places is banned on March 2, 2006, when the law is signed by Governor Anibal Acevedo Villa.
- A Budget impasse occurs on April 25, 2006, when the Governor and the House refuse to budge on the budget.
- On April 28, 2006, 45,000 demonstrators march through San Juan demanding a resolution to avoid a government shutdown expected the next week.
- 100,000 people are out of work when the government closes public school and government offices on May 1, 2006.
- During May of 2006, various proposals and actions are aimed at resolving the budget crises.

Sources - - - - - - - - -

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Virgin Islands   (United States Virgin Islands formerly Danish West Indies)  The Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean east of Puerto Rico.
    Area -
    00,0000 sq. miles        Capital: Charlotte Amalie

    Motto - United in Pride and Hope

During the 1600s Two territorial units were formed from the archipelago, one English and one Danish.
- In the 1700s and 1800s the economy was supported by slave labor harvesting sugarcane.
- The abolition of slavery in 1848 caused an economic decline.
- The United States purchased the Danish West Indies in 1917 putting the area now know as the U.S. Virgin Islands under the administrated of the U.S. Navy.
- A Civil Government is established in 1931.
- In 1932 U.S. Citizenship is granted to to the indigenous population.
- Self Government is established in 1936.  
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock

- William H. Hastie becomes Federal District Judge of the Virgin Islands in 1937.

Sources - - - -
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All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
United States Territories - Other Outlying Areas

Baker, Howland, Jarvis  -  Johnston Atoll  -  Kingman Reef
Midway  -  Navassa Island  -  Palau  -  Palmyra Atoll  -  Wake Island
* UM
  • Baker Island   Is about half way between Hawaii and Australia. Baker is a coral reef cap of an extinct submerged volcano.
    Area -
    1 sq. mile

- Baker Island
- The United States claimed possession of Baker Island in 1857.  The guano phosphate deposits were mined by U.S. and British companies during the latter half of the 1800s.
- Long forgotten the advent of air travel with the location of the island between Hawaii and Australia gave the island new importance.
- The U.S. began to colonize Baker Island in 1935, until the colony was abandoned in 1942 during World War II.
- In 1974 Baker Island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge.
- On January 6, 2009 Baker Island was included in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
* UM
  • Howland Island   Is about half way between Hawaii and Australia. Relatively flat Howland and its coral reef were developed atop of a submerged volcano.
    Area -
    .73  sq. mile

- The U.S. discovered Howland Island in the early 1800s
- The U.S. official claimed the island in 1857.
- U.S. and British companies mined guano deposits until the late 1800s.
- Long forgotten the advent of air travel with the location of the island between Hawaii and Australia gave the island new importance.
- To establish U.S. Control against British claims the U.S. reclaimed Jarvis in 1935 and began to colonize until the colony was abandoned in 1942 during World War II.
- In 1937 Amelia Earhart; the famous American pilot, (with co-pilot Fred J. Noonan.) on her round-the-world flight, while seeking Howland for refueling; disappeared. A day beacon on the west coast is named in her memory.
In 1974 Howland Island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge.

Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
* UM
  • Jarvis Island   Is about half way between Hawaii and the Cook Islands. Jarvis is a coral island perched atop of an underwater volcano.
    Area -
    1.7 sq. mile

- Jarvis Island was discovered by the British in 1821.
- Jarvis Island was claimed by the U.S. in 1856.
- The U.S. annexed the Island in 1858.
- Tons of guano phosphate had been mined between 1858 and 1879.
- The U.S. abandoned Jarvis Island 1879 after the mining of guano had ceased.
- The United Kingdom annexed Jarvis Island in 1889, but failed to execute plans to exploit the island.
- Long forgotten the advent of air travel with the location of the island between Hawaii and the Cook Islands gave the island new importance.
In 1935 the U.S. began to colonize Jarvis Island, until the colony was abandoned in 1942 during World War II.
- In 1974 Jarvis Island was established as a National Wildlife Refuge.

Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
* UM
  • Johnston Atoll   Is about one-third the distance going from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands. Nearly level it has sandy coral islets sitting on the top of a submerged volcano.
    Area -
    1 sq. mile

- The American Brig "Sally" of Boston sighted the island in 1796.
- In 1807 Captain James Johnston claimed the official discovery on December 10th.

In 1858 Johnston Atoll was annexed by both the U.S. and the Kingdom of Hawaii.
- The United States companies mined guano phosphate on the Johnston Atoll, until the late 1880s.
- Johnston and Sand islands were declared wildlife refuges in 1926 by President Coolidge..
- The U.S. Navy took over control of Johnston Atoll in 1934.
- In 1948 the U.S. Air Force was given control of the atoll.
- During the 1950s and 60s the island was used for high-altitude nuclear tests.
- Until 2000 the Johnston Atoll was used for storage and disposal of chemical weapons.
- By May 2005, the destruction and cleanup of the munitions then the closure of the facility was completed.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Air Force have been discussing future management options.

Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
* UM
  • Kingman Reef  Is in the north Pacific about 33 miles northwest of Palmyra Island and 925 miles southwest of Hawaii.  Kingman Reef is an atoll-like reef and shoal approximately 9 1/2 by 5 miles in size built on the top of an underwater volcano. Most of it is now submerged.
    Area -
    42 sq. miles

- The American ship Shooting Star, of Boston, captained by W. E. Kingman discovered the island on November 23, 1853.  Captain Kingman said it was near the location assigned to "Danger Rock" that showed on some charts.
1922 The American flag was hoisted over Kingman Reef by Lorrin A. Thurston on May 10, 1922. He made formal claim by reading a proclamation of annexation, leaving a record of proceedings, a certificate of possession, the flag, and copies of the honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin of May 3, 1992 in a jar left at the base of a cairn of coral slabs.
- Official annexation of Kingman Reef by the U.S. was in 1922.
- During the late 1930s flying boats would use the sheltered lagoon as a stop-over on the Hawaii to American Samoa flights.
- In 1934 Kingman Reef was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy by Executive Order on December 29, 1934.
- On February 14, 1941 another Executive Order made Kingman Reef a U.S. national defense area, prohibiting foreign planes and ships.
- The reef and waters 12 miles out were made a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge in 2001.

Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Midway Islands   1,150 miles northwest of Hawaii, the Midway Islands are a circular atoll with a 6 mile diameter circling two larger islands. Midway is several sandy coral islands of the top of a submerged volcano.
    Area -
    2 sq. miles

Captain N.C. Brooks discovered the Midway Islands on July 5, 1859.
- The U.S. declared the Midway atoll as a U.S. possession in 1867.
The laying of the Trans-Pacific cable, through the islands, brought the first residents and in 1903 on the 4th of July, President Theodore Roosevelt inaugurated the global system with a message.
- In 1903 President Roosevelt made the atoll a naval reservation. It was named Midway Islands, because of it's midway location between California and Japan.
- 1930 brought greater importance to Midway as a stop off for Pan-Am Clippers crossing the Pacific.
- The Navy built a submarine base in 1940 operating strategic operations contributing to the end of WWII
- A tide turning event of World War II, the Battle of Midway was waged from June 3 to June 6th, 1942.
- Commercial air traffic was stopped in 1950.
- The Naval Air facility played pivotal roles in the support for the Korean War, Cold War and the Vietnam War.
- In 1988 Midway became an "overlay" refuge, while still under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy.
- The Air base at Midway was closed in 1993 beginning the transition of mission to wildlife conservation.
- The Midway Islands were made a National Wildlife Refuge. The islands are home to the largest Laysan albatross colony.
Sources - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Navassa Island  is an uninhabited Island in the Caribbean Sea, 90 nautical miles west south of the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The island is ringed with vertical white cliffs and has a raised coral and limestone plateau. Most of the island is exposed rock and coral but has enough grasslands for dense stands of fig trees, some cactus, and goat herds.
    Area -
    2.01 sq. miles

- In 1504, Christopher Columbus' crew found the island after being stranded on Jamaica and were sent to Hispaniola by canoe for help. The Island had no water and was named "Navaza" from the root "nava-" which means plain or field. Mariners will avoid the island for over 350 years.
- Haiti still claims to have had sovereignty over Navassa Island, since 1801.

In 1857 the Navassa Island was claimed by American Sea Captain, Peter Duncan, for the United States because of its guano deposits (phosphate).  It was the third Island claimed under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. Duncan transferred the rights to his employer an American guano trader who sold the them to the Navassa Phosphate Company of Baltimore. After the Civil War a mining colony was built on the island with barrack housing for 140 Black contract laborers, houses for the white supervisors, mining facilities, a blacksmith shop, warehouses and a church.
- Beginning in 1865 the island was actively mined of its guano phosphate which as an organic fertilizer was used extensively in American agriculture in the mid 1800s. The guano was mined by dynamite and pick-axe, then hauled in rail cars to Lulu Bay.
- Five white supervisors were killed during a rebellion in 1889 over harsh working conditions. Three Black miners were tried and sentenced to death in the spring of 1891. President Benjamin Harrison commuted the sentences to imprisonment after a nation wide petition drive, by Black churches, that were also signed by white jurors from the three trials.
- 1898 saw an end to the mining on Navassa, when the Spanish-American War forced the company to evacuate the island, and file for bankruptcy.
- The new company abandoned the island shortly after 1901.
- In 1903 Navassa Island was set as a dependency of the U.S. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
- Navassa rose again in importance in 1914 with the building of the Panama Canal.
- A 162 foot lighthouse was built, in 1917 395 feet above sea level by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. A keeper and two assistants were assigned to the Navassa Island Light. The administration of the island was placed under the U.S. Lighthouse Service.
- In 1929 the U.S. Lighthouse Service installed an automatic beacon at the Navassa Island Light.
- The U.S. Coast Guard absorbed the Lighthouse Service in 1939 and serviced Navassa twice each year.
- During World War II the U.S. Navy maintained an observation post on Navassa Island. After the war the island had remained uninhabited except for occasional transient Haitian fishermen camping on the island.
- In 1996 the lighthouse was closed and the administration of Navassa Island was transferred to the Department of the Interior.
- On January 16, 1997, The Interior Department officially took control of Navassa placing it under the Office of Insular Affairs. It was grouped with other islands claimed by the U.S. under the Guano Islands Act of 1856 as the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
- A 1998 expedition to the island found it to be a unique
- In 1999 Navassa Island became a National Wildlife Refuge. It has become a site of scientific study.

Sources - - - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
  • Palmyra Atoll   994 miles southwest of Honolulu the atoll is an incorporated territory of the United States and is currently kept as a wildlife refuge. The Atoll is a circle of 52 islets consisting of a spectacular reef system, submerged lands and above water forest lands. The reefs are home for over 130 stony corals. Lush vegetation support 29 species of birds, with the atoll being the only land for resting in 450,000 square miles of ocean.
    Area -
    4.6 sq. miles          - Uninhabited - Wildlife Refuge.

- Palmyra was sighted on June 14, 1798 by Captain Edmond Fanning.
- Captain Sawle officially discovered Palmyra in 1802 while commanding the American ship Palmyra.

- On behalf of the United States and the American Guano Company, Dr. G.P. Judd of the brigg Josephine takes possession of the Palmyra Atoll in 1859.
In 1862 Hawaii's King Kamehameha IV claimed possession for his Kingdom.
- Great Britain in 1889 laid claim to the atoll.
In 1898 when President McKinley annexed the Territory of Hawaii to the United States, the documentation specifically mentioned Palmyra.
- The Palmyra Atoll was used as a U.S. Navy Air and refueling base, during WW II but was never attacked.
- In 1959 Palmyra was excluded from Hawaii when the State boundaries were set.
- the U.S. Air Force had maintained the unpaved landing strip until 1961. All roads, strips and causeways have since been overgrown.
- At some point the authority over the atoll was placed under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
- In January of 2001 the Palmyra atoll was made a National Wildlife Refuge. It is partly privately owned by the Nature Conservancy with the rest of it under Federal ownership.  The only fishing permitted is recreational bone-fishing and sport-fishing with enforcement to protect endangered and unique wildlife species. The atoll is the last undeveloped and unpopulated wetland atoll left, in the tropics of the Pacific Ocean.

Sources - - -

* Not a US Postal abbreviation - Uninhabited.

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
* UM
  • Wake Island   Half way between Midway and Guam Wake Island is an atoll of three islets, Wilkes, Peale, and Wake.)  Three low coral islands built up on an extinct underwater volcano make up Wake Island as an atoll, Wake, Wilkes, and Peale. The central lagoon was the crater.
    Area -
    2.51 sq. miles

Wake Island was discovered by the British in 1796.
- The U.S. annexed Wake Island in 1899 to use it for a cable station.
- Pan American Airways established a seaplane base in 1938, making Wake Island a commercial base until World War II began.
- The U.S. Navy began construction of an important air and naval base in 1940.
-The Japanese captured Wake Island December, 1941 and held it until the end of World War II.
- After WWII Wake Island was developed into a stop-over for military and commercial aircraft traversing the Pacific.
- Since 1974 the airstrip has been used exclusively by the U.S. military and emergency landings.
- With the forecast of a super typhoon, All operations on the island were suspended in August 2006 and all personnel evacuated. Typhoon IOKE hit the island with 250 KPH of winds and a storm serge of 6 m causing major damages.
- After the super typhoon IOKE, a U.S. Air Force and repair team that included 75 military contractors returned to the island to restore operations in July, 2008.

Sources - - -

* UM for U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -
Compact with Free Association with the United States.
  • Palau   Palau is in the northern Pacific Ocean consisting of 200+ volcanic and coral islands joined by a single barrier reef. Palau is an independent country in Free Association with the United States of America.
    Area -
    196 sq. miles      Capital - Melekeok  

The first settlers to Palau are believed to have come from the eastern area of what we now call Indonesia around 2500 BC.
- In 1783 the English ship of Captain Henry Wilson catches a reef and is shipwrecked. The first westerners to visit Palau stay for three months repairing their ship with native help.  Britain becomes the Islands' main trading partner as trade with Europe increases.
- Spain lays claim to the islands in 1885.
- The Palau Islands are sold in 1899 to Germany. The natives are enslaved in phosphate mines, and on coconut Plantations.
- 1914, after World War I Japan seized Palau. Japan sets up an administrative center for its possessions. Koror becomes the primary city as the Japanese population peaks at 26,000.
- During World War II, 1940-1945, Japan builds navy facilities and fortifies its positions in Palau. Those facilities are targeted by Allied attacks. Fierce battles between the U.S. and Japanese forces occur on a few of the islands.
- Palau becomes a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S. administration in 1947.
- Palau as well as the Marshall Islands in 1979 choose to not to become part of a federated Micronesia.
- The Territory of Palau adopts a constitution in July 1980 to become the Republic of Palau in 1981.
- Unsuccessful referendums proposing a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. occur from 1983 to 1990.
- In June of 1985 President Haruo Remeliik is assassinated. Lazarus Salii was elected President in September of that year.
-  In what is an apparent suicide, President Sali dies in 1988.
- President Kuniwo Nakamura is elected President in 1992.
- In 1993 a Compact of Free Association with the United States is finally passed with a simple majority by referendum.
- U.S. investigations in 1993 find Palau minister of state and his wife guilty for the 1985 assination of President Remeliik.
- Palau under the Compact of Free Association with the U.S. becomes a free nation in 1994. It will receive financial aid, and defense provided by the United States in exchange for the right of the U.S. to operate military bases.
- Palau join the United Nations in 1994.
- In the elections of 1996 President Kuniwo Nakamura is reelected.
- Former vice president Tommy Remengesau wins the presidency in the 2000 elections.
- In August of 2003, Palau signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
- President Tommy Remengesau is reelected in November, 2004.
- A 2004 referendum supported constitutional changes allowing dual citizenship, setting term limits for congress, and the presidency and allowing candidates for President and Vice President to run as a team.
- In 2006 the move of the government to the new capital, Melekeok, begins.
- Vice President Elias Camsek Chin is defeated in the November, 2008 elections by the Former Ambassador to Taiwan, Johnson Toribiong.
- President Toribiong is inaugurated in January, 2009.

Sources - - - - - -

All rights reserved © Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock -


Territories - District of Columbia  -  American Soma  -  Guam
Northern Marianas  -  Puerto Rico  - 
U.S. Virgin Islands
Other Outlying Areas
Baker Island  -  Howland Island  -  Jarvis Island  -  Johnston Atoll  -  Kingman Reef
Midway  -  Navassa Island  -  Palau  -  Palmyra Atoll  -  Wake Island

United States  States
AL – AK – AZ – AR –  CA –  CO  –  CT – DE – FL –  GA
HI –  ID –  IL  –  IN –  IA –  KS –  KY –  LA –  ME  –  MD
MA – MI – MN – MS – MO  – MT – NE – NV – NH – NJ
NM –  NY  – NC – ND –  OH –  OK –  OR –  PA – RI – SC
 – TN – TX –  UT – VT – VA – WA – WV – WI – WY
One Votes Counts Political Firsts TimeLine Index State TimeLines Flag TimeLine
Presidency TimeLine American Wars The Early Presidents

Index                   ..

Reminder to me: Sites with information to research:

© Copyright 2005, 2006, 2009 Roger W Hancock,

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