Guadalcanal (gwädəlkənălˈ) [key], volcanic island (2009 pop. 93,613), c.2,510 sq mi (6,500 sq km), South Pacific, largest of the Solomon Islands. Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, is there. The island is largely jungle. Mt. Makarakombou rises to 8,028 ft (2,447 m). There are coconut and oil palm plantations and some gold mining. The inhabitants, mostly Melanesians, live along the coasts. Discovered by English navigators in 1788, Guadalcanal became a British protectorate in 1893. During World War II it was occupied by the Japanese. In Aug., 1942, U.S. forces began their first large-scale invasion of a Japanese-held island; after bitter fighting, it was conquered (Feb., 1943). In 1999, attacks by the Gwale majority caused many of the Malaitan minority to flee their homes; by 2000 the conflict had escalated into battling between ethnic militias in Honiara and the jungle. Points of interest include a museum of Melanesian artifacts and Henderson Field, the main objective of the American invasion.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Guadalcanal from Fact Monster:

  • Solomon Islands - Information on Solomon Islands — geography, history, politics, government, economy, population statistics, culture, religion, languages, largest cities, as well as a map and the national flag.
  • Battles That Changed History - Battles That Changed History Some battles were turning points, not only in war, but in history ...
  • Solomon Islands - Solomon Islands Solomon Islands, independent Commonwealth nation (2005 est. pop. 538,000), c.15,500 ...
  • Honiara - Honiara Honiara , town (1986 pop. 30,413), capital of the Solomon Islands. Located on Guadalcanal ...
  • This Day in History: February 9 - February 9 1861 Jefferson Davis was chosen as the president of the Confederate States of America. ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe