Book on Saipan’s history launched

Don Farrell during the launching of his latest work – Saipan: A Brief History at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center Photo
© Lyn Lirio

THE American Memorial Park Visitors Center in Saipan on Thursday launched “Saipan: A Brief History,” the 12th book of renowned Marianas historian and author Don Farrel.

According to Farrel, “Saipan: A Brief History’ was originally created in 1991. It is primarily something the local people could use to remember and study the history of their island. What I have discovered over the years is although people hear stories in the history of the island, they really don’t know what happened back in those days.”

In the book, Farrel said, he compiled all the historical photographs and put together the written and official record of what really happened.

“The local people will have the opportunity to be able to have history of their island in their home, where parents could sit with their children and say: ‘see that picture, that’s your grandma and this is what’s happening there’.”

The author described his latest book as home educational tool. He said they have printed the same in Korean and Chinese languages.

“There’s a large Korean and Chinese communities who are residents of Saipan. They want to know about the history as well. So now we have Chinese and Korean edition for them. But at the same time we need something for our visitors to learn the real history of the island, not what just they hear around town,” he said adding that his other purpose is “to get the word of the history of the island into homes of China and Korea, where those families can sit and read and learn about the history of the place they visited.”

“Saipan: A Brief History” is published by Micronesian Productions, a family-owned company established in Guam in 1981.

Micronesian Productions also published pictorial history of Guam series titled “Guam: The Americanization, 1898-1918; History of Guam.”

Aside from “Saipan: A brief History,”Farrel also wrote “The Sacrifice of Guam,” which covered the period of 1919-1943.

“It was when Guam Chamorros first began fighting for US citizenship and were denied. So the main chapter there is Citizenship denied. The business people began to recognize the military situation in the Western Pacific was growing, they continued to ask the United States whether they are going to build up military in Guam and defend the island but the U.S. Congress decided not to and sacrificed the island rather than fight for it. That chapter is called Defense denied. The last chapter is the Japanese invasion of Guam, so that is called the Sacrifice of Guam,” Farrel explained.

Farrel’s published bestselling book was Liberation – 1944, which is the story of American recapture of Guam and return to status as the US. territory albeit granting citizenship to Guam Chamorros.

When Farrel and his wife Carmen moved to the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands in 1987, he wrote a brief history of Tinian in 1987.

Farrel has also written three history books for Public School System. He said these are the in-depth history of Saipan.

“Saipan:A brief history” is meant to be exactly what is called – easy to pick up, easy to carry, easy to read. Those who want a detailed history can buy one of my larger books,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saipan Representative Ed Propst has commended Don Farrel for his latest work.

“It’s a beautiful book. I think everyone should get it. It’s a history of our island in Saipan and it is by a historian such as Don Farrel. It is a good reference for the things about our history. Very well written and and has beautiful photos,” he said.

“Knowing our history is so crucial. We have to understand. It is certainly the children would read it as well. There’s important details and updates a lot of things that may not have covered in the past, something that I believe is important,” Propst said of the book.


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