Guam is an island in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean that is part of the United States. It is a territory and not one of the 50 U.S. States. The people that first lived there are called "Chamorros". The capital of Guam is the city of Hagåtña. The largest city is Dededo. Guam has important United States Air Force and Naval bases, which use a lot of Guam's land. Guam also has a lot of tourists.


Guam was one of the first islands in the Pacific Ocean to be visited by Europeans. In 1521, the first European to visit Guam was Ferdinand Magellan, on his voyage around the World. Spain took over Guam in 1668, and it was an important place for Spanish delivery boats every year going between Mexico and the Philippines, known as the Manila Galleon. During this time the people on Guam learned a great deal about the Spaniards.

In 1898, the United States had a war with Spain and took Guam under the Treaty of Paris, which also brought the giving of Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico from Spain. Guam continued to be important due to its strategic location, both for shipping and air travel in the Pacific. During World War II, Japan captured Guam in 1941, but the U.S. fought to get it back in 1944. This meant that the Chamorro people on Guam were on a different side of the war than the Chamorro people on the nearby Northern Mariana Islands. Even though the Northern Mariana Islands were also taken over by America, they still feel different from the Chamorro people on Guam.

In 1950, the US Congress passed a law making the people of Guam American citizens. Guam is not a state but is a U.S. territory.

In August 2017, North Korea warned that it might launch mid-range ballistic missiles into waters within 18 to 24 miles of Guam, following an exchange of threats[1][2] between the governments of North Korea and the United States.


Guam gets most of its money from the United States government. Much of that money is spent on the military bases, but there are also federal grants given to the Guam government for various programs. Because it is only a territory, federal income taxes paid by Guam residents are given to the Guam government for its operations.

Guam is a sought after travel destination. Almost all of these visitors are from Japan. Japanese tourists like Guam because it is closer to Japan than other American places. Guam has lots of hotels and other fun places for people to visit. Tumon Bay is Guam's biggest beach. It has lots of pretty white sand, and the water has lots of fish. Tumon is becoming a busy city.

Today, Guam has less visitors than it did a few years ago, because Asia has had some trouble. This means there are fewer jobs on Guam, and it has lost money.

Land and water

Guam is 212 square miles (549 square kilometers) large. In the north part, it has a flat area of coral and limestone rock. The south part has mountains. Around the island is a coral reef.

Guam is next to the Marianas Trench, which is the deepest part of the Earth and underwater. It sometimes has earthquakes, some of which have been very strong.


Guam is a tropical island. It is usually quite warm and wet and the temperature does not change very much. From February to July it is dry, but the rest of the year it is rainy. Sometimes Guam has very strong and dangerous storms in October and November.


  1. Horton, Alex (August 9, 2017). "Why North Korea threatened Guam, the tiny U.S. territory with big military power". The Washington Post.
  2. Daniels, Jeff (10 August 2017). "North Korea's missile threat to Guam crafted for 'maximum drama,' says former CIA analyst". CNBC News. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

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