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Political / Social
At the beginning of World War II, an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine surfaced off the west coast of the Island. Believing that it was a U.S. Navy submarine which had come to fetch them, the four young colonists rushed down the steep western beach in front of Millersville towards the shore. The submarine answered their waves with fire from its deck gun, but no one was hurt in the attack. On February 7, 1942, the USCGC Taney evacuated the colonists, then shelled and burned the dwellings. The roughly cleared landing area on the island's northeast end was later shelled by the Japanese, leaving crater holes.
Jarvis was visited by scientists during the International Geophysical Year from July 1957 until November 1958. In January 1958 all scattered building ruins from both the nineteenth century guano diggings and the 1935-1942 colonization attempt were swept away without a trace by a severe storm which lasted several days and was witnessed by the scientists. When the IGY research project ended the island was abandoned again. By the early 1960s a few sheds, a century of accumulated trash, the scientists' house from the late 1950s and a solid, short lighthouse-like day beacon built two decades before were the only signs of human habitation on Jarvis.
On June 27, 1974, Secretary of the Interior
Public entry to Jarvis Island requires a special-use permit and is generally restricted to scientists and educators. The island is visited periodically by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Coast Guard.
A feral cat population, descendants of cats brought by guano miners, wrought disruption to the island's wildlife and vegetation since the 1930s. These cats were removed through efforts which began in the mid-1960s and lasted until 1990 when they were completely eradicated. Nineteenth century tram track remains can be seen in the dried lagoon bed at the island's center and the late 1930s-era lighthouse-shaped day beacon still stands on the western shore at the site of Millersville.
Shanghai, Jarvis Island, Coal, San Francisco, Samoa