Guam Liberation Day in Guam in 2021

Guam Liberation Day in Guam in 2021
Liberation Day commemorates the start of the Battle of Guam in 1944.

  Dates of Guam Liberation Day in Guam
2022 Guam Thu, Jul 21 Public Holiday
2021 Guam Wed, Jul 21 Public Holiday
2020 Guam Tue, Jul 21 Public Holiday
2019 Jul 21, Jul 22
GuamMon, Jul 22Public Holiday (in lieu)
GuamSun, Jul 21Public Holiday
  Summary
Commemorates the liberation from Japanese rule on July 21st 1944

When is Liberation Day in Guam?

Guam Liberation Day is a public holiday on Guam, observed on July 21st.

If July 21st falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be a public holiday and if July 21st falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a public holiday.

This day marks the start of the Battle of Guam in 1944, which led to the liberation of the island during the second world war.

History of Guam Liberation Day

In a list of most popular reasons for public holidays, celebrating the birthday of a ruler or the date when a country threw off the shackles of colonial rule are probably the most popular. Not far down the list is commemorating a battle or war that was crucial to the heritage and history of a nation. This is the case with Guam's Liberation Day which commemorates the Battle of Guam in 1944 which returned the island to U.S. control.

Guam is the southernmost and largest of the Marianas Islands in the Pacific Ocean. It became a U.S. territory in December 1898 after the Spanish-American War. The U.S. sold the other Marianas Islands to Germany.

In December 1941, Japan entered the second world war when it launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. With the intention to dominate the Pacific theatre, Japan invaded Guam a few days after the Pearl Harbour attack. This first Battle of Gaum lasted two days before the U.S. troops were overwhelmed by the Japanese.

Japan's early advances in the war began to wane as the U.S. Pacific Fleet retaliated with a major victory at the Battle of Midway coming in June 1942.

It would two long years of hard-fought victories before the U.S. launched its assault to liberate Guam on July 21st 1944. The Second Battle of Guam raged until August 10th, with the Japanese troops fighting to the last man.

Did you know?

We said "last man", but some Japanese soliders held out in the jungle and fought until December 1944, and famously one of the Japanese soldiers was discovered on the island in January 1972, having escaped the fighting and living in a cave for 28 years.

After the battle, Guam became an important base for the allied operations that would eventually end the war in 1945.

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