Northern Marianas Becomes U.S. Territory
On November 4, 1986, the Northern Marianas became a territory of the United States.
An expedition led by Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 was the first European contact with the native Chamorro. Magellan landed on Guam, explored the neighboring islands, and called the group the “Islands of the Lateen Sails,” named after the out-rigger sailboats used by the natives.