Book chronicles amazing Guam facts
Managing Editor Shannon Murphy was part of the Guampedia editorial team that recently helped publish “101 Amazing Facts about Guam.” This small paperback features an interesting fact with a related photo or illustration on virtually every page. It starts with the early Chamorro people and takes the reader forward in time through the seven eras of Guam’s history to the present.
The book was compiled as a fundraiser for the online Guampedia, an ongoing research project chronicling and disseminating the history and heritage of Guam. Guampedia is a free educational and informational resource for teachers and students living both on and off island as well as for tourists and anyone else wishing to learn more about this island and its people.
Q. Why publish “101 Amazing Facts about Guam”?
A. We decided to create this book for a couple of reasons – number one of which was as a fundraiser for Guampedia. We are a non-profit organization whose goals are to highlight the unique Chamorro heritage and history of Guam and the Mariana Islands (you can read more about Guampedia at: www.guampedia.com/about-guampedia).
Guampedia is ad-free and is free to use, online 24-7. We need to raise money for our operations and prefer to create something of value rather than host a fund raising event. The second reason we created it is because we hope it will bring pride to the people of Guam and pique interest in Guam history, hopefully driving more people to investigate these many amazing facts further by going to Guampedia.com.
Q. How did you create this book?
A. The book was created by the Guampedia editorial team of myself, Dominica Tolentino, Nathalie Pereda and Rita Nauta. To create the book, Dominica Tolentino and I created a list of facts that we thought were amazing. The four of us discussed and narrowed them down to 101, just to be concise.
Dominica and I wrote them up and Nathalie Pededa, our media editor, selected the best photographs and illustrations for each fact. Once the facts and media were put together we edited as a team, refining the writing and media selections. Rita Nauta worked with a graphic artist to create the book’s appearance, making sure it was consistent with Guampedia’s style.
Q. What are some of the amazing facts in the book?
A. Ancient Chamorros believed that brother and sister spirits, Puntan and Fu’una, created the universe, and that different places on Guam are named after human body parts.
Pirates frequented Guam’s shores during the Spanish Era (1668-1898), which is why there are stone forts along Guam’s western coastline. Some of these pirates kept journals and wrote about their experiences on Guam.
Guam was a stop on the first trans-Pacific air travel route by Pan American Airlines in the 1930s. American author Ernest Hemingway was on one of those flights, and he stayed at the Pan American Hotel in Sumay (where U.S. Naval Base Guam is today).
Q. Where can someone buy the book?
A. The book is available worldwide on the Guampedia website (www.guampedia.com/101-amazing-facts-about-guam). Anyone can order it and we will mail it to you. On Guam, it will be available at 76/Circle K Gas Station Stores island wide, at the Pacific Historic Park Bookstore at the War in the Pacific National Historic Park’s T. Stell Newman Visitor Center in Piti and at i Puti’on: The Star, located at Chamorro Village near the Chief Kepuha statue in Hagatna.
Q. What to you hope will accomplish?
A. Our hope is that these amazing facts will encourage you to find out more about Guam’s history by visiting Guampedia.com, where additional in-depth information and exciting images can be found. Your support of this publication will help Guampedia continue its mission to make Guam history accessible to everyone.
“101 Amazing Facts about Guam”
Compiled by Rita Nauta, Shannon Murphy, Dominica Tolentino and Nathalie Pereda
Published by Guampedia Foundation
Paperback, 118 pages, $20