November 4 – Citizenship Day in the Northern Marianas

Posted on November 4, 2017

On this day in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill and - whoosh! - in a moment, tens of thousands of people became U.S. citizens.


(Did you know that the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas were American citizens?)

Before World War II, these 15 Pacific islands were colonized or occupied by Spain, Germany, and Japan. After WWII, they and several other nearby island chains became a "United Nations Trust Territory of Pacific islands," administered by the United States. Some of these islands later became territories of the U.S., or sovereign states "in free association with" the U.S., but only the Northern Marianas became a "Commonwealth in political union with" the U.S.

I get the impression that most Northern Mariana Islanders like having American passports and close ties with the superpower that is the United States. I imagine some people want even more independence from the U.S., but I haven't seen evidence of that.

Check out the location, geography, and culture of this Commonwealth:

 








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