Presidents Day in Micronesia Date in the current year: November 23, 2024

Presidents Day in Micronesia Presidents Day is one of the public holidays in the Federated States of Micronesia. It is celebrated annually on November 23 to commemorate the birthday of Tosiwo Nakayama, who served as the first president of Micronesia from 1979 to 1987.

Tosiwo Nakayama was born on November 23, 1931 on Nomwunweito Atoll to a Japanese father and a native mother. At the time of his birth, the atoll was part of the South Seas Mandate administered by Japan. At the age of 24, Nakayama was granted a scholarship that allowed him to study at the University of Hawaii (by that time, Micronesia had become part of a UN trust territory administered by the United States).

Upon his graduation in 1958, Nakayama returned to Truk (now Chuuk) and was appointed as the Supervisor of Adult Education, which marked the beginning of his career. Nakayama subsequently served as the Political and Economic Advisor to the Truk District Administration and as a member and then president of the Truk District Legislature.

Having established himself as a competent politician in his native district of Truk, Nakayama was appointed as an advisor to the US delegation to the UN Trusteeship Council, where he represented the interests of Micronesians. Upon his return to Micronesia in 1962, he served as a member of the Council of Micronesia for a year. Over the following years, he held a number of important posts, including serving as President of the Senate of the Congress of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from 1965 to 1967 and then again from 1973 to 1979.

In May 1979, four districts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands – Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap – ratified a new constitution and formed the Federated States of Micronesia. The Congress elected Nakayama as the first president of Micronesia. During his tenure, Nakayama oversaw the transfer of governmental functions from the United States to the government of Micronesia. It was during his presidency that the Federated States of Micronesia signed the Compact of Free Association with the United States.

Nakayama served two four-year terms and was succeeded by John Haglelgam in 1987. He took a position of the Vice President for Governmental Affairs with Chuuk Branch of Bank of Guam and worked there until 2003, when he had to resign due to declining health. Nakayama died at a hospital in Honolulu on March 29, 2007.

Presidents Day was officially established by President David Panuelo on November 24, 2020 to highlight Tosiwo Nakayama’s contribution to the independence of Micronesia and celebrate his lifelong commitment and dedication to serving his country and its people. In addition to honoring Nakayama, Presidents Day recognizes all former presidents of Micronesia, their leadership and hard work in service of the nation.

The inaugural celebration of Presidents Day took place on November 23, 2021. The main festivities were held on the island of Onoun in Chuuk State since it is the birthplace of Tosiwo Nakayama. They included public speeches, ceremonies, and other festive events and activities.

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