Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1, 1899

The Spanish Governor of the Marianas, Juan Marina, surrendered Guam to American Captain Henry Glass on June 21, 1898.  Glass was in such a hurry to leave Guam and proceed to Manila that he didn't even bother to leave the ship and go into Hagåtña.  Instead, he had the Spanish officials and troops march down to Piti.  They didn't even know there was a war going on.

On June 21, Glass did leave his ship, but just to go to Fort Santa Cruz, an old and abandoned Spanish fort in the shallow waters of Apra Harbor.  There, he raised the American flag for the first time over the island.  The flag was later taken down and went back on Glass' ship which went on to Manila.

There wouldn't be another raising of the American flag until February 1, 1899, and this time in Hagåtña for the first time.  Commander Edward Taussig had landed on Guam some days prior and started to make a few decisions about the local government.  Then, he had the American flag raised in front of the Governor's Palace in Hagåtña.  A band made up of volunteers on the American ship played the "Star Spangled Banner," and a battalion of Marines gave the 21-gun salute.

The Spanish priests were invited to attend this ceremony.  They declined.  In seven months' time, those Spanish priests would be sent away on orders of the U.S. Navy.

U.S. Naval Historical Center
Edward D. Taussig, USN
First to raise the U.S. flag over Hagåtña

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