The US took possession of the island in 1857. Its guano deposits were mined by US and British companies during the second half of the 19th century. In 1935, a short-lived attempt at colonization began on this island but was disrupted by World War II and thereafter abandoned. The island was established as a NWR in 1974.
Location – Oceania, North Pacific Ocean 1,830 nm (3,389 km) southwest of Honolulu, about half way between Hawaii and Australia