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Northern Marianas Information - Page 2
History
Spain claimed the Mariana Islands in the sixteenth century.

The Northern Mariana Islands were sold to Germany at the end of the nineteenth century. (Guam was ceded to the United States)

Japan occupied the Northern Mariana Islands during the First World War.br>
Following the War, the Northern Marianas were colonized by the Japanese under a mandate of the League of Nations.

During the Second World War heavy fighting took place on the islands between the Americans and the Japanese.

US administration began in 1947 - the islands were part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, under United Nations authority.br>
Members of the UN Trust Territory also included the Caroline Islands (FSM including Palau) and the Marshall Islands.

In the 1970s the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided to forego independence and negotiate close links with the US.

The Northern Marianas became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States in 1976 although citizens are not allowed to vote in US presidential elections.

Economy
The Northern Mariana Islands benefit from financial assistance from the USA.

Clothing and tourism are important industries. Other industries include construction and handmade crafts.

The agricultural sector produces coconuts, melons, breadfruit, tomatoes and vegetables. Cattle are reared. (2011)

Arts
The indigenous inhabitants of the Northern Marianas are the Chamorro and Carolinian people. Each group has their own cultural traditions of song and dance.

Artifacts from the Chamorro and Carolinian cultures can be seen in the Northern Marianas Islands Museum of History and Culture on Saipan.

Sport
Team sports include football, baseball, basketball and volleyball.

Water sports are snorkelling and scuba diving. The Northern Mariana Islands are also popular for deep sea fishing.

Holidays
All religious holidays are celebrated. Commonwealth Day is on 8 January (1978).

News
News from the Northern Mariana Islands is available from Newslink.

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