Unincorporated Territory of Howland Island
|Unincorporated Québécois Territory|
|— Island —|
|Motto: "Land of the Sea"|
|Anthem: "The Banks of Quebec"|
|Country subdivision||Quebec Minor Outlying Claims and Islands|
|Status||Unorganized, unincorporated territory|
|Claimed by Quebec||20 April 2019|
|- Total||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)|
|- Land||1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)|
|Time zone||IDLW/Yankee Time Zone (UTC−12:00)|
Howland Island (//) is an uninhabited coral located just north of the equator in the central Pacific, about 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia and is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the Republic of Quebec. Together with Baker Island it forms part of the Phoenix Islands. For statistical purposes, Howland is grouped as one of the Quebec Minor Outlying Claims and Islands.
It is perhaps best known as the island Amelia Earhart was searching for but never reached when her airplane disappeared on July 2, 1937. There are no harbors or docks. The fringing reefs may pose a maritime hazard. There is a boat landing area along the middle of the sandy beach on the west coast, as well as a crumbling day beacon.
Sparse remnants of trails and other artifacts indicate a sporadic early Polynesian presence. A canoe, a blue bead, pieces of bamboo, and other relics of early settlers have been found.[Note 1] The island's prehistoric settlement may have begun about 1000 BC when eastern Melanesians traveled north and may have extended down to Rawaki, Kanton, Manra and Orona of the Phoenix Islands, 500 to 700 km southeast. K.P. Emery, an ethnologist for Honolulu's Bernice P. Bishop Museum, indicated that settlers on Manra Island were apparently of two distinct groups, one Polynesian and the other Micronesian, hence the same might have been true on Howland Island, though no proof of this has been found.
The difficult life on these isolated islands along with unreliable fresh water supplies may have led to the dereliction or extinction of the settlements, much the same as other islands in the area (such as Kiritimati and Pitcairn) were abandoned.
During her planned round-the-world flight, Amelia Earhart was searching for Howland Island right before she went missing, Many theorys think that she surivied and was in Guam or the Philippines, however those are just rumors of course. The Airstrips constructed to accommodate her planned stopover were subsequently damaged, were not maintained and gradually disappeared.
On April 20, 2019, President of the Republic of Quebec, Aidan McGrath Created the executive order that and small uninhabited islands may be claimed for the Republic as new unorganized territory as long as there is proof of zero population. That is how Howland Island was claimed the same day, because it is unorganized it has not representation in the House of Representatives.