Organic Act

In May of 1949, Guam Congress sent F. B. Leon Guerrero and Antonio B. Won Pat to Washington, DC to lobby for the passage of an Organic Act. Other CHamoru leaders lobbied in Washington, DC including Agueda Johnston, Concepcion Barrett, and B.J. Bordallo. On 1 August 1950, President Truman signed the Organic Act of Guam into law. The Act established a non-military, civil government in Guam; granted congressional US citizenship to island residents and their descendants; and designated the island’s political status as an unincorporated territory of the United States. The Organic Act was celebrated as a victory. But questions soon arose as to whether civil government meant self-government. Even more questions arose as to whether the US citizenship granted in the Organic Act truly afforded the protections that many believed it would.