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Book documents Guam, NMI history

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by Jason Salas

Guam - A book has been finished chronicling all aspects of the rich history of the Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Its author is here, exhibiting his work and thanking the local resources that contributed greatly to this very worthwhile project. Former Guam resident Don Farrell has put the finishing touches on the second edition of History of the Mariana Islands to Partition.

The book, coincidentally published by and used throughout the CNMI Public School System, is written as a classroom learning tool, but is equally great as a home reference. Said Farrell, "This volume deals with the formation of the islands, as well as the original habitation, where the people came from, as well as the establishment of the Spanish Administration all the way up to the Spanish-American War, which of course, led to the partition of Guam as a U.S. territory and the Northern Marianas as a district of the German administration."

It's an update on the original edition, published two decades ago. The University of Guam's Micronesian Area Research Center, with its huge archive of historical information in all forms of media, provided much of the content. "So you'll find inside of this book that it is totally illustrated," Farrell continued. "There's a photograph, a map or an illustration on virtually every page. It is constructed as a middle school teacher's resource and as a guide for students for home learning, because it contains all of the proper material for education."

"It has the single-largest collection of artwork from the Spanish Period and before to have ever been published," he added.

So now that the work's been written, edited, typeset, printed and bound, Farrell feels a special sense of accomplishment in completing such a daunting and yet so necessary volume of work, preserving the history of the region he's called home for more than forty years. "It's a culmination of a dream for me to be able to write a complete history of the Marianas, which incorporates the history Guam, which was the center of the Marianas," he explained.

"Through this research," Farrell added, "I've been able to bring forward concepts that perhaps people haven't considered before - that Umatac was actually the capitol of Guam for a long time because it was the primary anchorage for ships coming to Guam before Apra Harbor was developed, and then to capitol was moved to Agana."

The History of the Mariana Islands to Partition will be available starting tomorrow at a special signing at UOG's Leon Guerrero School of Business for only $20, which includes a bag and poster. After that, you can find it at the UOG Bookstore, Bestseller Books and the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.

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