Overview

The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a national wildlife refuge. From 1996 to 2001 the refuge was open to the public. It is now temporarily closed.

Local flag from year 2000

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Country
Surface Area: 6.2 square km
Population: no indigenous inhabitants; approximately 40 people make up the staff of US Fish and Wildlife Service and their services cooperator living at the atoll.
Located in: Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean
Independent since: none, unincorporated territory of the US
Flag (image):