Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

The islands of Micronesia were colonized in succession by Spain, Germany, and Japan. After the Second World War, these islands became a United States administered United Nations strategic trusteeship. This new arrangement was named the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). Initially under Navy control, the islands were transferred to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior in 1951. Administrative headquarters, originally in Honolulu, moved to Guam, and finally to Saipan. For administrative purpose, the TTPI divided the islands of Micronesia into six districts based on earlier colonial precedent: the Marshalls, Ponape, Truk, Marianas, Yap, and Palau, with the later addition of Kosrae. Beginning in the 1970s the districts began voting to end the trustee relationship with the United States. In 1986 the US notified the UN that its obligations were fulfilled. The UN officially dissolved the Trust Territory in 1990. Palau, the last of the Trust Territory districts, voted to end its trustee status in 1994. Materials in this online collection derive from the Pacific Collection's holdings of both published and unpublished Trust Territory materials.

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