(Marianas; Ladrone Is.). Group of is. in Micronesia.* Area (including Guam*): ca. 450 sq. mi.; discovered 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan (ca. 14801521; Port. navigator); originally called Islas de los Ladrones (Islands of the Robbers); name changed to Las Marianas 1668 in honor of Mariana of Austria (163496), widow of Philip IV of Sp. (160565; king of Sp. 162165); sold (except Guam) by Sp. to Ger. 1899; Jap. mandate 1919; trust territory (except Guam) assigned by UN to US 1947. RCs were the first Christian missionaries on the islands (17th c.). ABCFM and Bap. missionaries came early in the 20th c.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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