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Commonwealth Covenant Day
Northern Mariana Islands

Commonwealth Covenant Day 2019 and 2020

Every 24 March is celebrated as Commonwealth Covenant Day in the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) to remember the establishment of a commonwealth in union with the USA for NMI in 1976.

YearDateDayHoliday
201924 MarSunCommonwealth Covenant Day
202024 MarTueCommonwealth Covenant Day

What is now the Northern Mariana Islands became a colonial possession of Spain in the 1500’s, but the islands were acquired by the German Empire in 1899. After World War I, they were transferred to The Empire of Japan, and following World War II, they came under the control of the United States of America.

There was a movement to make Guam a part of NMI, but Guam decided against it and opted to remain a US territory. NMI then had to decide if they would seek full independence or continue some kind of relationship with the US.

In a 1975 referendum, around 80 percent of the population of NMI voted to approve a commonwealth covenant with the US rather than to become an independent nation. On 24 March the following year, the results of the referendum were put into effect.

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