Citizenship Day in Northern Mariana Islands

Citizenship Day in the Northern Mariana Islands is a holiday observed on the 4th of November every year, commemorating the day they came under U.S. sovereignty on this date in 1986. The significance of the islands coming under U.S. sovereignty is that the islanders immediately became citizens of the United States.

However, the islands do not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress, but since 2009, they have had a non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives. It should also be noted that although residents of the islands are U.S. citizens, they don’t get to vote for the U.S. President.

The History of Citizenship Day in the Northern Mariana Islands

The Mariana Islands were some of the very first islands settled by humans in Remote Oceania. They were settled around 1,500 B.C. by migrants who left the Philippines. In the first millennium, there was also a wave of migrants to the islands from the Caroline Islands, and even more migrants from Southeast Asia.

Over the years, the islands were possessions of Spain, Germany, and Japan. On June 15th, 1944, the U.S. military invaded the islands during WWII. This began the Battle of Saipan, which lasted until July 9th of that year. Of the 30,000 Japanese troops tasked with guarding Saipan, fewer than 1,000 survived the battle.

During the 1970s, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided to negotiate for commonwealth status. This was later approved in the Referendum of Becoming a U.S. Commonwealth in 1975. On January 9th, 1978, a government and constitution came into effect. On November 4th, 1986, the Northern Mariana Islands’ constitution was enacted, and the islands came under U.S. sovereignty.

Observing Citizenship Day in the Northern Mariana Islands

This is a public holiday in the Northern Mariana Islands, meaning it’s a day off for the general public, and many schools, businesses, and government offices are closed. It’s also a day when many people take the time to enjoy the day and spend time with loved ones.

Where is it celebrated?
Northern Mariana Islands (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 4 Monday
Next year (2025)
November 4 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
November 4 Saturday