Guam Congress Walkout
In 1949, a Guam House of Assembly committee, investigating violations of a prohibition against Americans owning local businesses through Guamanian “front men,” subpoenaed a US citizen, Abe Goldstein, who had financed a women’s clothing store. Goldstein, a civilian, refused to testify. The committee issued a warrant for Goldstein’s arrest, but Gov. Charles Pownall intervened. Angered, the assembly passed the Organic Act bill and voted unanimously to adjourn until the US Congress acted on it. CHamoru leaders worked with the US media to amplify their message across the country. Pownall dismissed congressional members who refused to attend a special joint session that he convened threatening to hold new elections to replace them. President Harry S. Truman then forced the US Navy to transfer the administration of Guåhan to the Department of the Interior within 12 months.