The island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean (about 3,000 miles west of Hawaii), was found on this date in 1521 by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. He named the island Ladrones (meaning "thieves") because according to Magellan, of the way the inhabitants behaved.

The island was formally claimed by Spain in 1565, and was later ceded to the United States as a prize at the end of the Spanish-American War. Today, Guam is the site of major U.S. military installations.

Guamanians celebrate their island's founding with an official holiday on the first Monday in March with fiestas and sailboating. During the holiday, floats and parades swarm in the street including cultural programs. Also, the traditional re-enactment to the series of events that led Magellan to the discovery of Guam is held at Umatac Bay.

This day is also known as Discovery Day .

More Info: