Territorial Deputy for Guam

Territorial Deputy for Guam/tiles/non-collection/c/c_040imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Territorial Deputy for Guam/tiles/non-collection/c/c_040imgtile2.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Description

A territory of the United States since 1898, Guam achieved limited self-governance through the Organic Act of 1950. The Organic Act established a legislature for the territory, and Antonio Borja Won Pat was elected as its first speaker in 1951. Guam’s governor was not elected, but was instead appointed by the President of the United States. Ten years later, Bill Daniel, governor of the Territory of Guam, advocated for representation for the island in Congress. Daniel encouraged citizens and politicians to write to Wayne Aspinall, Chairman of the Committee on Insular and Interior Affairs, which was considering legislation related to the issue. This letter, asking for a non-voting deputy to represent Guam in Congress, was sent in 1961 by the Guam Women’s Club. “Guam is a remote place, admittedly, but since all its residents are citizens of the United States and since it plays an important part in the defense of the free world,” the club wrote, “we do feel that . . . we are entitled to an official voice in the seat of our government.” Letters from Guam’s “Territorial Deputy Week,” an organized effort to advocate for a deputy from Guam, form part of the bill files of the Committee on Insular and Interior Affairs. Won Pat was first elected to represent Guam in Congress in 1965, serving in a position similar to that of a territorial deputy. He became Guam’s first Delegate to Congress in 1973.

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