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Guam, History

The island was probably visited in 1521 by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, who, sailing for Spain, claimed it for that country. It was formally annexed by Spain in 1565. In 1898, by the terms of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Spanish-American War, the island was ceded by Spain to the United States. The Japanese captured Guam in December 1941, during World War II (1939-1945). It was retaken by American forces between July 20 and August 10, 1944. In 1950 U.S. citizenship was conferred on the people of Guam. The island was devastated in August 1992 by Typhoon Omar. Winds of up to 240 km/h (about 150 mph) damaged 75 to 90 percent of the island's buildings.

 
 

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