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Pago Pago ( ;
Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands ** Something of, from, o ...
: )Harris, Ann G. and Esther Tuttle (2004). ''Geology of National Parks''. Kendall Hunt. Page 604. . is the territorial
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
of
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
. It is in Maoputasi County on
Tutuila Tutuila is the main island of American Samoa (and its largest), and is part of the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing ...

Tutuila
, which is American Samoa's main island. Pago Pago is home to one of the deepest natural deepwater harbors in the
South Pacific Ocean South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
, sheltered from wind and rough seas, and strategically located.United States Central Intelligence Agency (2016). ''The World Factbook 2016–17''. Government Printing Office. Page 19. .Grabowski, John F. (1992). ''U.S. Territories and Possessions (State Report Series)''. Chelsea House Pub. .Kristen, Katherine (1999). ''Pacific Islands (Portrait of America)''. San Val. . The harbor is also one of the best protected in the South Pacific,Leonard, Barry (2009). ''Minimum Wage in American Samoa 2007: Economic Report''. Diane Publishing. . which gives American Samoa a natural advantage because it makes landing fish for processing easier.
Tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

Tourism
, entertainment, food, and
tuna A tuna is a saltwater fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ray-finned fish, be ...

tuna
canning are its main industries. As of 1993, Pago Pago was the world's fourth-largest tuna processor.Stanley, David (1993). ''South Pacific Handbook''. David Stanley. . It was home to two of the largest tuna companies in the world:
Chicken of the Sea Chicken of the Sea is a provider of packaged seafood, formerly US-owned and now owned by the Thai Union Group in Samut Sakhon, Thailand. The brand sells tuna, salmon, clams, crab, shrimp, mackerel, oysters, kipper snacks, and sardines in cans, pouc ...
and
StarKist StarKist Tuna is a brand of tuna produced by StarKist Co., an American company based in Pittsburgh's North Shore that is now wholly owned by Dongwon Industries of South Korea. It was purchased by Dongwon from the American food manufacturer Del Monte ...
, which together exported an estimated $445 million in canned tuna to the U.S. mainland. The total value of fish landed in Pago Pago — about $200,000,000 annually — is higher than in any other port in any U.S. state or territory. Pago Pago is the only modern urban center in American Samoa, and the main port of American Samoa. It is also home to the territorial government, all the industry, and most of the commerce in American Samoa.Swaney, Deanna (1994). ''Samoa: Western & American Samoa: a Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit''. Lonely Planet Publications. . The Greater Pago Pago Metropolitan Area encompasses several villages strung together along
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
. One of the villages is itself named Pago Pago, and in 2010 that village had a population of 3,656. The constituent villages are:
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Faga ...
,
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
, Malaloa, Pago Pago,
Satala Located in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria ...
and
Atu'u Atu'u is a village on Tutuila Island, American Samoa. It is located on the coast of Pago Pago Harbor, close to the capital, Pago Pago. Atu'u is the location of two tuna canneries, the main employers in American Samoa. According to business li ...
. Fagatogo is the downtown area, referred to as "town", and is home to the legislature, while the executive seat is in Utulei. Also in Fagatogo are the
Fono The Legislative Assembly ( sm, Fono Aoao Faitulafono a Samoa), also known as Parliament of Samoa ( sm, Palemene o Samoa), is the national legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a ...
, police department, the Port of Pago Pago, and many shops and hotels. In 2000, the Greater Pago Pago area was home to 8,000 residents;Lal, Brij V. and Kate Fortune (2000). ''The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1''. University of Hawaii Press. Page 101. . by 2010 the population had increased to 15,000.
Rainmaker Mountain Rainmaker Mountain (also known as Mount Pioa) is the name of a mountain located near Pago Pago, American Samoa on Tutuila Island. Rainmaker Mountain traps rain clouds and gives Pago Pago the highest annual rainfall of any harbor. The average ann ...
(Mount Pioa), which is located in Pago Pago, contributes to a weather pattern that results in the city having the highest annual rainfall of any harbor in the world. It stands protectively over the eastern side of Pago Pago, making the harbor one of the most sheltered deepwater anchorages in the Pacific Ocean.Sunia, Fofo I.F. (2009). ''A History of American Samoa''. Amerika Samoa Humanities Council. . Historically, the strategic location of Pago Pago Bay played a direct role in the political separation of
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
and Eastern Samoa. The initial reason that the U.S. was interested in Tutuila was its desire to use Pago Pago Harbor as a coaling station.Shaffer, Robert J. (2000). ''American Samoa: 100 Years Under the United States Flag''. Island Heritage. . The town has the distinction of being the southernmost U.S. capital, and the only one located in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
.


Pronunciation

The letter "g" in
Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands ** Something of, from, o ...
sounds like "ng"; thus Pago Pago is pronounced "Pango Pango."''Cruise Travel Vol. 2, No. 1'' (July 1980). Lakeside Publishing Co. Page 60. . An early name for Pago Pago was Long Bay (Samoan: O le Fagaloa), which was a name used by the first permanent inhabitants to settle in the Pago Pago area.Gray, John Alexander Clinton (1980). ''Amerika Samoa''. Arno Press. . It was also called O le Maputasi ("The Single Chief's House") in compliment to the Mauga, who lived at Gagamoe in Pago Pago and was the senior to all the other chiefs in the area.


History

Pago Pago was first settled 4,000 years ago.


19th century

Two missionaries were assigned to Tutuila Island in the 1830s: Reverend Murray and his wife to Pago Pago and Reverend Barnden to
LeoneLeone may refer to: Geography *Leone, American Samoa *Monte Leone, mountain in the ''Leone-Gruppe'' as part of Western Alps *Sierra Leone, independent nation in West Africa Given name * Leone Battista Alberti, Italian Renaissance humanist polymath ...
. They landed at Fagasa Bay and hiked over the hill to the High Chief Mauga in Pago Pago. Mauga welcomed the missionaries and gave them support. RMS later moved to Pago Pago, becoming the second ship to enter
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
. The missionaries later chose to establish their headquarters at Leone. As early as 1839, American interest was generated for the Pago Pago area when Commander
Charles Wilkes Charles Wilkes (April 3, 1798 – February 8, 1877) was an American naval officer, ship's captain, and explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery ...
, head of the
United States Exploring Expedition The United States Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842 was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding lands conducted by the United States. The original appointed commanding officer was Commodore (USN)#History, Com ...
, surveyed Pago Pago Harbor and the island. Rumors of possible annexation by Britain or Germany were taken seriously by the U.S., and the U.S. Secretary of State
Hamilton Fish Hamilton Fish (August 3, 1808September 7, 1893) was an American politician who served as the 16th Governor of New York The governor of the State of New York is the head of government of the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. Th ...

Hamilton Fish
sent Colonel Albert Steinberger to negotiate with Samoan chiefs on behalf of American interests. American interest in Pago Pago was also a result of Tutuila's central position in one of the world's richest whaling grounds. In 1871, the local business of W. H. Webb required coal and he sent Captain E. Wakeman to Samoa in order to evaluate the suitability of Pago Pago as a coaling station. Wakeman approved the harbor and alerted the
U.S. Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = " Anchors Aweigh" ...
about
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
's intent to take over the area. The U.S. Navy responded a few months later by dispatching Commander
Richard Meade Richard John Hannay Meade (4 December 1938 – 8 January 2015) was United Kingdom, Britain's most successful male List of Olympic medalists in equestrian, equestrian Olympian. He was a triple Olympic gold medalist and the first British rider t ...

Richard Meade
from
Honolulu Honolulu (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lo ...

Honolulu
, Hawaii to assess Pago Pago's suitability as a naval station. Meade arrived in Pago Pago on and made a treaty with the Mauga for the exclusive use of the harbor and a set of commercial regulations to govern the trading and shipping in Pago Pago. He also purchased land for a new naval station. The chief of Pago Pago signed a treaty with the U.S. in 1872, giving the American government considerable influence on the island. It was acquired by the United States through a treaty in 1877. One year after the naval base was built at
Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, su ...

Pearl Harbor
in 1887, the U.S. government established a naval station in Pago Pago. It was primarily used as a fueling station for both naval- and commercial ships. The U.S. Navy first established a coaling station in 1878, right outside
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
. The United States Navy later bought land east of Fagatogo and on Goat Island, an adjacent peninsula. Sufficient land was obtained in 1898 and the construction of United States Naval Station Tutuila was completed in 1902. The station commander doubled as American Samoa's Governor from 1899 to 1905, when the station commandant was designated Naval Governor of American Samoa. The Fono (legislature) served as an advisory council to the governor.Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). ''World War II Pacific Island Guide: A Geo-military Study''. Greenwood Publishing Group. . Despite being a part of the United States,
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
and Germany maintained a strong naval presence in the Samoan Islands. Twice between 1880 and 1900, the U.S. Navy came close to taking part in a shooting war while its only true interest was the establishment of a coaling station in Pago Pago. The U.S. quietly purchased land around the harbor for the construction of the naval station. It rented land on Fagatogo Beach for $10/month in order to store the coal. Admiral Kimberly was ordered to Pago Pago while in
Apia Apia is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase ...
waiting for transportation home after the hurricane of 1889. In Pago Pago, he selected a site for the new coaling station and naval base. In June 1890, the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...
passed an appropriation of $100,000 for the purpose of permanently establishing a station for the naval and commercial marine. With the appropriation, the
State Department The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the Federal government of the United States, executive branch of the fede ...
sent Consul Sewall from Apia to Pago Pago to buy six tracts of land for the project. Some parts were previously owned by the Polynesian Land Company, while other tracts were still owned by Samoan families. For the defense of the harbor in event of a naval war, the U.S. Navy wanted to purchase headlands and mountainsides above the Lepua Catholic Church which directly faced the harbor's entrance. In 1889,
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as ''Treasure Island ''Treasure Island'' (origi ...

Robert Louis Stevenson
paid a visit to Pago Pago. A
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
-based construction and engineering firm was contracted to build the coal depot in 1898. The naval engineer in charge was W. I. Chambers. On April 30, 1899, Commander
Benjamin Franklin Tilley Benjamin Franklin Tilley (March 29, 1848March 18, 1907), often known as B. F. Tilley, was a career officer in the United States Navy who served from the end of the American Civil War through the Spanish–American War. He is best remembered as the ...
sailed from
Norfolk, Virginia Norfolk ( ) is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...
on with a cargo of coal and steel for the project. The U.S. Navy was the only American agency present in the area, and it was made responsible for administrating the new territory. The first
American flag The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag or the U.S. flag, is the national flag A national flag is a flag that represents and symbolizes a given nation. It is Fly (flag), flown by the government of tha ...

American flag
was raised on April 17, 1900, at Sogelau Hill above the site of the new wharf and coaling facilities in Fagatogo. For the ceremony, a group of invitees from
Apia Apia is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase ...
arrived with German Governor Heinrich Solf onboard . USS ''Abarenda'', home of B. F. Tilley and his new government, was in the harbor. American consul Luther W. Osborn arrived from Apia, and many spectators arrived from American Samoa villages and other countries. Tilley was the master of ceremonies and began the program by reading the Proclamation of the President of the United States, which asserted American sovereignty over the islands. Next was the reading of the Order of the Secretary of the Navy, followed by chiefs who read the Deed of Cession, which they had written and signed. Before raising the flag, reverend E. V. Cooper of the
London Missionary Society The London Missionary Society was an interdenominational evangelical missionary society formed in England in 1795 at the instigation of Welsh Congregationalist minister Edward Williams. It was largely Reformed tradition, Reformed in outlook, with C ...
(LMS) and reverend Father Meinaidier of the Roman Catholic Mission offered prayers. Students from the LMS school in Fagalele sang the national anthem. The two ships, ''Comoran'' and ''Abarenda'', fired the national salutes. The Deed of Cession of Tutuila and Islands was signed on Gagamoe, and formalized the relationship between the U.S. and American Samoa. Gagamoe is an area in Pago Pago which is the Mauga family's communal and sacred land. Pago Pago became the
administrative capital A capital or capital city is the municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, firs ...
of American Samoa in 1899.


20th century

At the beginning of the 20th century, Pago Pago became American Samoa's
port of entry In general, a port of entry (POE) is a place where one may lawfully enter a country. It typically has border security staff and facilities to check passport A passport is an official travel documentA travel document is an identity docume ...
. On April 11, 1904, the first public school in American Samoa, called ''Fagatogo'', was established in the
naval stationA Naval Station was a geographic Command (military formation), command responsible for conducting all naval operations within its defined area. It may consist of Flotilla, flotillas, or Squadron (naval), squadrons, or individual ships under command. ...
area. The school had two teachers and forty students at the time of its opening.


First and Second World Wars

English author W. Somerset Maugham and his secretary Gerald Haxton visited Pago Pago from December 16, 1916, to January 30, 1917 on their way from Hawaii to
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands The Society Islands (french: Îles de la Société, officially ''Archipel de la Société;'' ty, Tōtaiete mā) a ...

Tahiti
. Also on board the ship was a passenger named Miss Sadie Thompson, who had been evicted from Hawaii for prostitution. She was later the main character in the popular short story, ''
Rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...
'' (1921), a story of a prostitute arriving in Pago Pago. Delayed because of a quarantine inspection, they checked into what is now known as
Sadie Thompson Inn The Sadie Thompson Inn is a historic building in Malaloa, one of the constituent villages of Pago Pago in American Samoa. The building is noted as the guest house where from mid-December 1916 author W. Somerset Maugham resided for six weeks during ...
. Maugham also met an American sailor here, who later appeared as the title character in another short story, ''Red'' (1921). The Sadie Thompson Inn was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003. When the U.S. joined
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in May 1917, two German ships anchoring in Pago Pago were seized. The 10,000-ton ''Elsass'' was towed to Honolulu and turned over to the U.S. Navy, while its smaller
gunboat A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to shore bombardment, bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for troopship, ferrying troops or au ...
, ''Solf'', was refitted in Pago Pago and given the name . Wireless messaging between Pago Pago and Hawaii was routed through
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
. As the British censored all messages through Fiji, the Navy quickly upgraded the facilities to go directly between Pago Pago and Honolulu. Pago Pago was a vital naval base for the U.S. during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Limited improvements at the naval station took place in the summer of 1940, which included a
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (reflecting the natu ...
airfield at Tafuna. The new airfield was partly operational by April 1942, and fully operational by June. On March 15, 1941, the Marine Corps' 7th Defense Battalion arrived in Pago Pago and was the first Fleet Marine Force unit to serve in the
South Pacific Ocean South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
. It was also the first such unit to be deployed in defense of an American island. Guns were emplaced at Blunts and Breakers Points, covering Pago Pago Harbor. It trained the only
Marine reserve A marine reserve is a type of marine protected area Marine protected areas (MPA) are protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural ...
unit to serve on active duty during World War II, namely the 1st Samoan Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. The battalion mobilized after the attack on Pearl Harbor and remained active until January 1944. In January 1942 Pago Pago Harbor was shelled by a
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
submarine A submarine (or sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated ...

submarine
, but this was the only battle action on the islands during World War II. On January 20, 1942, the 2nd Marine Brigade arrived in Pago Pago with about 5,000 men and various supplies of weaponry, including cannons and tanks. Pago Pago and the U.S. Naval Station was visited by First Lady
Eleanor Roosevelt Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (; October 11, 1884November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. She served as the first lady of the United States The first lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is the title held by the ...
on August 24, 1943.


1960s

Pago Pago was an important location for
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
's
Apollo program The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which succeeded in Moon landing, landing the first humans ...

Apollo program
from 1961 to 1972.
Apollo 10 Apollo 10 (May 18–26, 1969) was a human spaceflight, the fourth crewed mission in the United States Apollo program, and the second (after Apollo 8, Apollo8) to orbit the Moon. It was the List of Apollo missions#Alphabetical mission types, Fmis ...
,
Apollo 11 Apollo 11 was the spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans on board. Most spacefli ...

Apollo 11
,
Apollo 12 Apollo 12 (November 14–24, 1969) was the sixth crewed flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon. It was launched on November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Commander Pete Conrad, Charles ...
,
Apollo 13 Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or cr ...
,
Apollo 14 Apollo 14 (January 31, 1971February 9, 1971) was the eighth crewed mission in the United States , the third to , and the first to land in the . It was the last of the "", landings at specific sites of scientific interest on the Moon for two-day ...
and
Apollo 17 Apollo 17 (December 7–19, 1972) was the final Moon landing mission of NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agencies of the United States government, independent agency of the Federal govern ...

Apollo 17
landed by Tutuila Island, and the crew flew from Pago Pago to Honolulu on their way back to the mainland. At Jean P. Haydon Museum are displays of an brought to the moon in 1969 by Apollo 11, as well as moonstones, all given as a gift to American Samoa by President
Richard Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of the and is the of the . The power o ...

Richard Nixon
following the return of the Apollo moon missions. The museum was officially opened in October 1971 with an opening featuring
Margaret Mead Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior ...
as a guest speaker. The
National Endowment for the Arts The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United ...
provided a start-up grant. The most valuable asset was an exquisite mat reputed to be the ''Fala o Futa'', the first important fine mat of Samoa, donated by Senate President HC Salanoa S.P. Aumoeualogo. The other major contribution was a cannon which came off ''Kamiloa'', a 171-ton steamer and the only warship in the fleet of King Kalakaua of Hawai'i. The Hawaiian king sent the ship to the Samoan Islands in an effort at creating a Polynesian kingdom. In 1965, the Tramway at Mount Alava was constructed as access to the TV transmission equipment on the mountain. It ran from atop Solo Hill at the end of the Togotogo Ridge above
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Fag ...
. It ascended across
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
and landed at the Mount Alava. It was one of the world's longest single-span cablecar routes.Stanley, David (2004). ''Moon Handbooks South Pacific''. David Stanley. . President
Lyndon B. Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was the 36th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the ...

Lyndon B. Johnson
and First Lady
Lady Bird Johnson Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson (Maiden and married names, née Taylor; December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was an American socialite who served as first lady of the United States as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1963 to 1969. Sh ...
visited Pago Pago on October 18, 1966. Johnson remains the only U.S. President to have visited American Samoa. Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center was named in honor of the president. Landing ahead of the
Air Force One Air Force One is the official air traffic control Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controller Air traffic control specialists, abbreviated ATCS, are personnel responsible for the safe, ord ...

Air Force One
was the press plane that carried seventy news reporters. The two-hour visit was televised throughout the country and the world. Governor H. Rex Lee and traditional leaders crammed ceremonies, entertainment, a brief tour, and a school dedication: the Manulele Tausala, Lady Bird Johnson School. The President gave a speech where he laid out the American policy for its lone South Pacific territory. The President and First Lady returned to American Samoa in December 1966, on their way to Prime Minister's
Harold Holt Harold Edward Holt (5 August 190817 December 1967) was an Australian politician who served as the 17th prime minister of Australia from 1966 until his Disappearance of Harold Holt, presumed death in 1967. He held office as leader of the Liber ...

Harold Holt
's funeral in Australia. Governor
Owen Aspinall Owen Stuart Aspinall (September 21, 1927 – February 7, 1997) was an United States, American attorney and politician who served as the 45th Governor of American Samoa from August 1, 1967, to July 31, 1969. He was born in Grand Junction, Col ...

Owen Aspinall
offered a quiet welcome as the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
asked for there to be no ceremonies during the visit. Around 3,000 spectators went to the
Pago Pago International Airport Pago Pago International Airport , also known as Tafuna Airport, is a public airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, an ...
to see the President. In May 1967, Governor H. Rex Lee signed a law making Pago Pago a
duty-free File:Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Departure Hall.jpg, Duty-free stores at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel in Oslo, Norway Duty-free shops (or stores) are retailing, retail outlets whose goods are exempt from the payment of certain local ...
port. Excise taxes, however, were imposed on automobiles, firearms, luxury goods, and auto parts. The excise tax was heaviest on secondhand motor vehicles and machinery. It was nicknamed the "Junk Bill" as it intended to keep out old used merchandise.


1970s and later

In November 1970,
Pope Paul VI Pope Paul VI ( la, Paulus VI; it, Paolo VI; born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, ; 26 September 18976 August 1978) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the ...
visited Pago Pago on his way to Australia. Shortly after Christmas in 1970, a village fire destroyed the legislative chambers and adjacent facilities. It was decided that the new Legislature would be placed permanently in the center of the township of Fagatogo, the traditional Malae o le Talu, at a cost of $500,000. A triple celebration in October 1973 marked the dedication of the new Fono compound, its 25th anniversary, and the holding in Pago Pago of the Pacific Conference of Legislators. First Lady Lillian "Lily" Lee unveiled the official
seal of American Samoa The Seal of American Samoa is based in traditional local design. The fly switch (''fue'') represents wisdom and the staff (To'oto'o) represents authority. Both symbols are used by talking chiefs indicating their rank. The Tanoa (kava bowl) repr ...

seal of American Samoa
carved on ''ifelele'' by master wood-carver Sven Ortquist, which was mounted in front of the new Fono. The Arts Council Choir sang the territorial anthem, "Amerika Samoa", as composer HC Tuiteleleapaga Napoleone conducted. The territorial bird, lupe, and flower, mosooi, were officially announced during the same ceremony. Shipping in and out of Pago Pago experienced an economic boom from 1970 to 1974. Flights into Pago Pago International Airport continued to increase in the early 1970s, with the Office of Tourism reporting 40,000 visitors and calling for the construction of additional hotels. Service to American Samoa by air was offered by Pan American (four weekly flights),
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand Limited is the flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one location to ...

Air New Zealand
(four weekly flights), and
UTA Uta or UTA may refer to: Universities *University of Texas at Arlington, in the United States *University of Tarapacá, in Chile *University of Tampere, in Finland Sports * FC UTA Arad, a Romanian football club based in the town of Arad * A c ...
(four weekly flights). From 1974 to 1975, records show that 78,000 passengers moved by air between the two Samoas and that Polynesian Airlines collected $1.8 million from the route. Pago Pago Harbor became a popular stop for yachts in the early 1970s. In 1972, Army Sp. 4 Fiatele Taulago Teo was killed in
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...
and his body was flown home to Pago Pago where his many awards were presented to his parents. The first Army Reserve Center was named after him. Two additional American Samoans were killed in the Vietnam War, Cpl. Lane Fatutoa Levi and LCpl. Fagatoele Lokeni in 1970 and 1968, respectively. In 1972, seven historical buildings in American Samoa were entered in the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
of the United States, including Navy Building 38, Jean P. Haydon Museum, and the
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
. In 1985, the decision was made to privatize Ronald Reagan Shipyard. Southwest Marine, a company from
San Diego, California San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border, Mexican border. With a 2020 population of 1,386,932, San Diego is the List of United ...
, was selected to operate the shipyard under lease from the American Samoa Government. In 1986, the First Invitational Canoe Race was held in Pago Pago. On September 25, 1991, downtown Fagatogo received a new landmark: the
Samoa News The ''Samoa News'' is a newspaper published in Pago Pago, American Samoa. In 1981, Samoa News was the major newspaper distributed in both of the Samoas. In January 1985, Lewis Wolman became editor of Samoa News. The Samoa News Ltd. was established ...
Building. The Executive Office Building in
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Faga ...
was dedicated on October 11, 1991.


21st century

Since 2000, American Samoa Department of Education through its school athletic program is the host of the East & West High School All-Star Football Game. It has been held at the field in Gagamoe in Pago Pago. Pago Pago hosted the 10th annual
Festival of Pacific Arts The Festival of Pacific Arts, Pacific Arts Festival, or FESTPAC is a traveling festival hosted every four years, in the same year as the Summer Olympics The Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major internati ...
from July 20 through August 2, 2008. In 2010, Tri Marine Group, the world's largest supplier of fish, purchased the plant assets of ''Samoa Packing'' and committed $34 million for a state-of-the-art tuna packing facility.
Mike Pence Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician, broadcaster, and lawyer who served as the 48th vice president of the United States The vice president of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest officer in the ...

Mike Pence
was the third sitting U.S. vice president to visit American Samoa when he made a stopover in Pago Pago in April 2017. He addressed 200 soldiers here during his refueling stop. U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson Rex Wayne Tillerson (born March 23, 1952) is an American engineer and energy executive who served as the 69th U.S. secretary of state from February 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, under President Donald Trump. Prior to joining the Trump admin ...
visited town on June 3, 2017. In August 2017, the
Fono The Legislative Assembly ( sm, Fono Aoao Faitulafono a Samoa), also known as Parliament of Samoa ( sm, Palemene o Samoa), is the national legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a ...
building in
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
was demolished. In 2018, four months of repair took place at the ASG-owned Ronald Reagan Shipyard in
Satala Located in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria ...
. A North Korean cargo ship seized by the United States arrived in Pago Pago for inspections in 2019.


2009 tsunami

On September 29, 2009, an
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known ...
struck in the
South Pacific The South Pacific is the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Pacific Ocean, Earth's largest oceanic division, and which includes several islands and archipelagos. It may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * South Pacific (novel), ''South Paci ...

South Pacific
, near
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
and
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
, sending a
tsunami A tsunami ( ; from ja, 津波, lit=harbour wave, ) is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, t ...

tsunami
into Pago Pago and surrounding areas. The tsunami caused moderate to severe damage to villages, buildings and vehicles and caused 34 deaths and hundreds of injuries.Article
on
Google News Google News is a news aggregator In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorith ...

Google News
It was an 8.3 magnitude earthquake which caused waves to hit the city. It caused major flooding and damaged numerous buildings. A local power plant was disabled, 241 homes were destroyed, and 308 homes had major damage. Shortly after the earthquake, President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government ...

Barack Obama
issued a federal disaster declaration, which authorized funds for individual assistance (IA), such as temporary housing. The largest wave hit Pago Pago at 6:13 pm local time, with an amplitude of .


Geography

Pago Pago is in the Eastern District of American Samoa, in Ma'oputasi County. It is approximately southwest of Hawaii, northeast of New Zealand, and southwest of California. It is located at . Pago Pago is located 18 degrees south of the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
. The city of Pago Pago encompasses several surrounding villages, including Fagatogo, the legislative and judicial capital, and
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Fag ...
, the executive capital and home of the Governor. The town is located between steep mountainsides and the harbor. It is surrounded by mountains such as Mount Matafao (2,142 ft),
Rainmaker Mountain Rainmaker Mountain (also known as Mount Pioa) is the name of a mountain located near Pago Pago, American Samoa on Tutuila Island. Rainmaker Mountain traps rain clouds and gives Pago Pago the highest annual rainfall of any harbor. The average ann ...
(1,716 ft), Mount Alava (1,611 ft), Mount Siona (892 ft), Mount Tepatasi (666 ft), and Mount Matai (850 ft), all mountains protecting Pago Pago Harbor. The main downtown area is Fagatogo on the south shore of Pago Pago Harbor, the location of the American Samoa Fono, Fono (territorial legislature), the port, the bus station and the market. The banks are in Utulei and Fagotogo, as are the
Sadie Thompson Inn The Sadie Thompson Inn is a historic building in Malaloa, one of the constituent villages of Pago Pago in American Samoa. The building is noted as the guest house where from mid-December 1916 author W. Somerset Maugham resided for six weeks during ...
and other hotels. The
tuna A tuna is a saltwater fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around 99% of living fish species are ray-finned fish, be ...

tuna
canneries, which provide employment for a third of the population of Tutuila, are in Atu'u on the north shore of the harbor. The village of Pago Pago is at the western head of the harbor. Pago Pago Harbor nearly bisects Tutuila Island. It is facing south and situated almost midpoint on the island. Its bay is wide and long. A high mountain, Mount Pioa (Rainmaker Mountain), is located at the east side of the bay. Half of American Samoa's inhabitants live along Pago Pago's foothills and coastal areas. The downtown area is known as Fagatogo and is home to government offices, port facilities, Samoan High School and the Rainmaker Hotel. Two tuna factories are located in the northern part of town. The town is centered around the mouth of the Vaopito Stream.
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
collects water from numerous streams, including the 1.7-mile Vaipito Stream, which as the area's largest watershed. Not far from where American Samoa Route 001, Route One crosses Vaipito Stream is Laolao Stream, which discharges into the head of Pago Pago Harbor. It merges with Vaipito Stream in Pago Pago Park, a few yards from the harbor. In the village of Pago Pago, from Malaloa to
Satala Located in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria ...
, there are a total of eleven rivers or streams. These include Vaipito, Gagamoe, Laolao, Pago, Leau, Vaima, Utumoa, and Aga. Tidal mud flats associated with the mouth of the Vaopito Stream were filled in order to create Pago Pago Park at the head of
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
. Five species of Stiphodon, Gobie fish, Mountain bass, Freshwater eel, Mullet (fish), Mullet and four shrimp species have been recorded along the lower reach of the Vaipito Stream. One of the Goby species, ''Stiphodon hydoreibatus'', is endemic to the Samoan Islands and found nowhere else on Earth. North of town is the National Park of American Samoa. A climb to the summit of Mount Alava in the National Park of American Samoa provides a bird's-eye view of the harbor and town.Farrell, Jack
"American Samoa American Samoa: A Tropical Delight Hosting the Only U.S. National Park South of the Equator"
, ''Frederick News-Post'', Sunday, March 16, 2014


City features

The Greater Pago Pago Area stretches into neighboring villages: *
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
is home to the Pago Pago Post Office, museum, movie theater, bars, and taxi services. It is locally known as Downtown Pago Pago. *
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Fag ...
and Maleimi, American Samoa, Maleimi are home to some Pago Pago-based hotels. *
Satala Located in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria ...
and Atu'u, American Samoa, Atu'u are home to Pago Pago's tuna industry. * Tafuna is the location of the Pago Pago International Airport, south of Pago Pago. Some houses are Western-style; others are more traditional Samoan housing units. All houses have running water and plumbing. It has been described as a "thoroughly Americanized" city.Rauzon, Mark J. (2016). ''Isles of Amnesia: The History, Geography, and Restoration of America's Forgotten Pacific Islands''. University of Hawai'i Press, Latitude 20. Page 7. . Fagatogo is Pago Pago's chief governmental and commercial center. Pago Pago Park is a public park by the harbor in Pago Pago. It lies by the Laolao Stream at the very end of Pago Pago Harbor. It is a recreational complex and culture center. There are a ball field, sports court and boat ramp in the park. The park houses businesses such as the American Samoa Development Bank. There are basketball and tennis courts, a football field, a gymnasium, a bowling alley and several Korean food kiosks in the park. The Korean House was built as a social center for the Korean fishermen in town.


National Park

Pago Pago is the primary entry point for visits to National Park of American Samoa, and the city is situated immediately south of the park. Its park visitor center is located at the head of Pago Pago Harbor: Pago Plaza Visitor Center (Pago Plaza, Suite 114, Pago Pago, AS 96799). This center also contains a collection of Samoan artifacts, corals, and seashells. The center expanded with 700 sq. ft. in July 2019, adding new demonstrations and exhibits. An item at the new exhibit is the skull of a sperm whale which washed up on Ofu-Olosega, Ofu Island in 2015. Several video screens and panels inform visitors about Samoan dolphins and whales. The exhibit also contains a six-foot by six-foot siapo which was made by college students as well as an enu basket woven with traditional materials. The nearest hotels to the national park are also located in Pago Pago. Other parts of the park, on the islands of Taū and Ofu, American Samoa, Ofu, can be visited via commercial inter-island air carrier from Pago Pago International Airport. The national park is home to tropical rainforest, tall mountains, beaches, and some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world (). It was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1988 to preserve the paleotropical rain forest, Indo-Pacific coral reefs, and Samoan culture. It officially opened in 1993 when a 50-year lease was signed between the U.S. federal government, the government of American Samoa, and local village chiefs (Matai). It is the only U.S. National Park where the U.S. federal government leases the land from local governments instead of being the land owner. It is a park which provides habitat for a variety of tropical wildlife, including coral reef fish, seabirds, flying fruit bats, and numerous other species of animals. Approximately are on Tutuila, and the remainder is on the other islands and the ocean. The park's offshore coral reefs provide habitat for 1,000 species of Coral reef fish, coral reef and pelagic fishes. The park is home to over 150 species of coral. Notable terrestrial species are the Candoia bibroni, Pacific tree boa and the Flying Megabat, which has a wingspread.


Natural hazards

Pago Pago is vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Vulnerabilities include heavy storms, flooding,
tsunami A tsunami ( ; from ja, 津波, lit=harbour wave, ) is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, t ...

tsunami
s, mudslides, and earthquakes. American Samoa has experienced several cyclones and tropical storms, which also increase risks of rock slides and floodings. The capital city is situated at the head of
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
in a sheltered area that has been described as relatively safe during hurricanes.


Climate

Pago Pago has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification ''Af'') with hot temperatures and abundant year-round rainfall. All official climate records for American Samoa are kept at Pago Pago. The hottest temperature ever recorded was on February 22, 1958. Conversely, the lowest temperature on record was on October 10, 1964. The average annual temperature recorded at the weather station at
Pago Pago International Airport Pago Pago International Airport , also known as Tafuna Airport, is a public airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, an ...
is , with a temperature range of about two degrees Fahrenheit separating the average monthly temperatures of the coolest and hottest months. Pago Pago has been named one of the wettest places on Earth. Due to its warm winters, the plant hardiness zone is 13b. It receives of rain per year. The rainy season lasts from October through May, but the town experiences warm and humid temperatures year-round. Besides it being wetter and more humid from November–April, this is also the hurricane season. The frequency of hurricanes hitting Pago Pago has increased dramatically in recent years. The windy season lasts from May to October. As warmer easterlies are forced up and over Rainmaker Mountain, clouds form and drop moisture on the city. Consequentially, Pago Pago experiences twice the rainfall of nearby Apia in Western Samoa. The average yearly rainfall in Pago Pago Harbor is , whereas in neighboring Western Samoa, it is around per year. Rainmaker Mountain, which is also known as Mount Pioa, is a designated National Natural Landmark. It is notable for its ability to extract rain in tremendous quantities. Rising out of the ocean, the Pioa monolith blocks the path of the low clouds heavy with fresh water as they are pushed along by the southeast tradewinds. The southeast ridge of Rainmaker Mountain reaches up into the clouds creating downfalls of enormous proportions.


Demographics

The village of Pago Pago proper had a 2010 population of 3,656. However, Pago Pago also encompasses neighboring villages. The Greater Pago Pago Area was home to 11,500 residents in 2011. Around 90 percent of American Samoa's population lives around Pago Pago. American Samoa's population grew by 22 percent in the 1990s; nearly all of this growth took place in Pago Pago. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, 74.5% of Pago Pago's population are of "Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Island" race. 16.6% were Asian Americans, Asian, while 4.9% were White Americans, white. In Pago Pago proper, residential communities are mostly found in the Vaipito Valley. The proportion of Pago Pago residents born outside of American Samoa was 26 percent in the early 1980s, and 39 percent in the late 1980s. The percentage of residents born abroad reached 44 percent in 1990. Many of the residents are American Samoans who were born abroad, and the village also has had an increasing number of new residents from Far East countries such as South Korea.


Government

Pago Pago is the seat of the judiciary (
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
), legislature and Governor's Office (
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Fag ...
).


Education

The Feleti Barstow Public Library is located in Pago Pago. In 1991, severe tropical cyclone Val hit Pago Pago, destroying the library that existed there. The current Barstow library, constructed in 1998, opened on April 17, 2000. The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) was founded in July 1970 by the American Samoa Department of Education. The college's first courses were taught in 1971 at the Lands and Survey Building in
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
. At the time, the college had a total enrollment of 131 students. In 1972, the college moved to the former Fialloa High School in
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Faga ...
, before ultimately moving to its current location in Mapusaga in 1974.


Economy

Pago Pago is the center of commerce in American Samoa. It is home to all the industry and most of the commerce in American Samoa. It is the number one port in the United States in terms of value of fish landed - about $200,000,000 per year. In 2007, tuna exports accounted for 93% of all exports, amounting to $446 million. Tuna canning is the main economic activity in town. Exports are almost exclusively tuna canneries such as
Chicken of the Sea Chicken of the Sea is a provider of packaged seafood, formerly US-owned and now owned by the Thai Union Group in Samut Sakhon, Thailand. The brand sells tuna, salmon, clams, crab, shrimp, mackerel, oysters, kipper snacks, and sardines in cans, pouc ...
and
StarKist StarKist Tuna is a brand of tuna produced by StarKist Co., an American company based in Pittsburgh's North Shore that is now wholly owned by Dongwon Industries of South Korea. It was purchased by Dongwon from the American food manufacturer Del Monte ...
, which are both located in Pago Pago. These also occupy 14 percent of American Samoa's total workforce as of 2014. The most industrialized area in the territory can be found between Pago Pago Harbor and the Tafuna-
LeoneLeone may refer to: Geography *Leone, American Samoa *Monte Leone, mountain in the ''Leone-Gruppe'' as part of Western Alps *Sierra Leone, independent nation in West Africa Given name * Leone Battista Alberti, Italian Renaissance humanist polymath ...
Plain, which also are the two most densely populated places in the islands. American Samoa was the world's fourth-largest tuna processor in 1993. The primary industry is tuna processing by the Samoa Packing Co. (
Chicken of the Sea Chicken of the Sea is a provider of packaged seafood, formerly US-owned and now owned by the Thai Union Group in Samut Sakhon, Thailand. The brand sells tuna, salmon, clams, crab, shrimp, mackerel, oysters, kipper snacks, and sardines in cans, pouc ...
) and StarKist, StarKist Samoa, a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz. The first cannery was opened in 1954. Canned fish, canned pet food, and fish meal from skin and bones account for 93 percent of American Samoa's industrial output. Dining establishments, amusement facilities, professional services, and bars can be found throughout Pago Pago. Pago Pago proper was home to 225 registered commercial enterprises as of year 2000. Within the Pago Pago watershed, farmland (faatoaga) are located in two areas in the southern half of the Vaipito Valley as well as in Happy Valley and on the west side of Pago Pago village. Farmland is also found by Fagatogo, American Samoa, Fagatogo, Atu'u, American Samoa, Atu'u, Punaoa Valley, Lepua, American Samoa, Lepua, Aua, American Samoa, Aua, and Leloaloa, American Samoa, Leloaloa. Centers for shopping are Pago Plaza, which consists of smaller stores selling handcrafts and souvenirs, and Fagatogo Square Shopping Center, which is home to larger shops. This shopping mall is next-door to Fagatogo Market in
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
, which is considered the main center of Pago Pago. It is home to several restaurants, shops, bars, and often live entertainment and music. Souvenirs are often sold at the market when cruise ships are visiting town. Locals also sell handmade crafts at the dock and on main street. Mount Alava, the canneries in
Atu'u Atu'u is a village on Tutuila Island, American Samoa. It is located on the coast of Pago Pago Harbor, close to the capital, Pago Pago. Atu'u is the location of two tuna canneries, the main employers in American Samoa. According to business li ...
,
Rainmaker Mountain Rainmaker Mountain (also known as Mount Pioa) is the name of a mountain located near Pago Pago, American Samoa on Tutuila Island. Rainmaker Mountain traps rain clouds and gives Pago Pago the highest annual rainfall of any harbor. The average ann ...
(Mount Pioa), and
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
are all visible from the market. The main bus station is located immediately behind the market. Pago Pago is a
duty-free File:Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, Departure Hall.jpg, Duty-free stores at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel in Oslo, Norway Duty-free shops (or stores) are retailing, retail outlets whose goods are exempt from the payment of certain local ...
port and prices on imported goods are lower than in other parts of the
South Pacific Ocean South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
. Governor H. Rex Lee signed a law making Pago Pago a duty-free port in May 1967. It is a wealthier city than nearby
Apia Apia is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase ...
, capital of
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
.


Tourism

Tourism in
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
is centered around Pago Pago. It receives 34,000 visitors per year, which is one-fourth of neighboring country of
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
. 69.3 percent of visitors are from the United States as of 2014. Until 1980, one could experience the view of Mt. Avala by taking an aerial tramway over the harbor, but on April 17 of that year a United States Navy, U.S. Navy plane, flying overhead as part of the Flag Day celebrations, struck the cable; the plane crashed into a wing of the Rainmaker Hotel. The tramway was repaired, but closed not long after. The tram remains unusable, although according to ''Lonely Planet,'' plans have been put forth to reopen it, but in December 2010 the cable was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Wilma, fell into the harbor and has not been repaired. Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga announced in 2014 that he would look into restoring the cable car. Another noted view is that from the top of the pass above Aua, American Samoa, Aua Village on the road to Afono. The
Sadie Thompson Inn The Sadie Thompson Inn is a historic building in Malaloa, one of the constituent villages of Pago Pago in American Samoa. The building is noted as the guest house where from mid-December 1916 author W. Somerset Maugham resided for six weeks during ...
, on the outskirts of Pago Pago, is a hotel and restaurant that is listed on the U.S.
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
. The Greater Pago Pago Area is home to more than 10 hotels: * Rainmaker Hotel, the largest hotel on Tutuila Island (Demolished in 2015) * Tradewinds Hotel, Quality Inn Tradewinds Hotel, located by the airport at Ottoville, American Samoa, Ottoville *
Sadie Thompson Inn The Sadie Thompson Inn is a historic building in Malaloa, one of the constituent villages of Pago Pago in American Samoa. The building is noted as the guest house where from mid-December 1916 author W. Somerset Maugham resided for six weeks during ...
, named for a character in ''
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'' (1921), in Fagatogo * Herb and Sia's Motel, in downtown area of
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
* Scanlan Inn, a smaller motel in Fagatogo * Motu O Fiafiaga Motel (Evalani's Motel), in Fagatogo * Sadies by the Sea, hotel in '
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Faga ...


Transportation

Pago Pago Harbor is the
port of entry In general, a port of entry (POE) is a place where one may lawfully enter a country. It typically has border security staff and facilities to check passport A passport is an official travel documentA travel document is an identity docume ...
for vessels arriving in American Samoa. Many cruise boats and ships land at Pago Pago Harbor for reprovision reasons, such as to restock on goods and to utilize American-trained medical personnel. Pago Pago Harbor is one of the world's largest natural harbors. It has been named one of the best deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, or one of the best in the world as a whole. Pago Pago is a popular port of call for South Pacific cruise ships, including Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises. However, cruise ships do not take on passengers in Pago Pago, but typically arrive in the morning and depart in the afternoon. Thirteen cruise ships were scheduled to visit Pago Pago in 2017, bringing 31,000 visitors. Pago Pago Harbor can accommodate two cruise ships at the same time, and has done so on several occasions. Pago Pago International Airport is located at Tafuna, southwest of Pago Pago. Polynesian Airlines operates shuttles between Apia and Pago Pago 4–7 times daily. Most flights are to and from Fagali'i Airport, Fagali'i. Of the 88,650 international arrivals in 2001, only 10 percent were tourists. The rest came to visit relatives, for employment reasons, or in transit. Most international visitors are from the independent country of Samoa. There are international flights to Samoa from Pago Pago International Airport (PPG): Pago Pago is a 35-minute flight from Apia in Samoa. There is only one flight destination from the territory to the United States: Honolulu International Airport, a five-hour flight from Pago Pago. Scheduled intra-territorial flights are available to the islands of Taū and Ofu, which take 30 minutes by air from Pago Pago. A ferry called runs between Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa, once a week. Bus and taxi services are based in Fagatogo.


Historical sites

Sixteen remaining structures from the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila Historic District are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. These include the
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
, Courthouse of American Samoa, Jean P. Haydon Museum, Navy Building 38, and other buildings.


World War II fortifications

Near Pila F. Palu Co. Inc. Store, a road runs up the hill into Happy Valley (Pago Pago), Happy Valley, and on the side of this road, six World War II ammunition bunkers can be seen on the left before reaching a dirt road. The dirt road, also located on the left side, leads to a big concrete bunker which was used as naval communications headquarters during World War II.Stanley, David (1996). ''South Pacific Handbook''. David Stanley. . Over fifty Pillbox (fortification), pillbox fortifications can be found along the coastline on Tutuila Island. The largest of these is the
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard the ship (reflecting the natu ...
communication bunker in Pago Pago. It is located in the Autapini area, which is between Malaloa and Happy Valley. During World War II, guns were emplaced at Blunts Point Battery, Blunt's and Breakers Point Naval Guns, Breaker's Points, covering
Pago Pago Harbor Image:Fagatogo Dock.jpg, 300px, A portion of the docks at Fagatogo in Pago Pago Harbor. In the background is Rainmaker Mountain. Pago Pago Harbor on Tutuila Island in American Samoa is one of the world's largest natural harbors. The capital, Pago P ...

Pago Pago Harbor
.


Landmarks

Landmarks include: * National Park of American Samoa, immediately north of town * U.S. Naval Station Tutuila Historic District, sixteen buildings are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places *
Government House Government House is the name of many of the residences of governors-general, governors and lieutenant-governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdictio ...
is a colonial mansion atop Mauga o Ali'i (the chief's hill), which was erected in 1903 * The Fono is the territorial legislature * Courthouse of American Samoa, The Courthouse is a two-story colonial-style house listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places * Jean P. Haydon Museum was constructed in 1917 and houses historical artifacts such as canoes. It is named for its founder, the wife of Governor John Morse Haydon * Blunts Point Battery, erected as a part of the fortification following the attack on
Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, su ...

Pearl Harbor
* Breakers Point Naval Guns, World War II-era defensive fortification *
Rainmaker Mountain Rainmaker Mountain (also known as Mount Pioa) is the name of a mountain located near Pago Pago, American Samoa on Tutuila Island. Rainmaker Mountain traps rain clouds and gives Pago Pago the highest annual rainfall of any harbor. The average ann ...
(Pioa Mountain), designated National Natural Landmark * Utulei Beach, beach in
Utulei Utulei or Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County, American Samoa, Maoputasi County, in the Eastern District, American Samoa, Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is traditionally considered to be a section of Fag ...
* Navy Building 38, historic radio station in
Fagatogo Fagatogo is the downtown area of Pago Pago Pago Pago ( ; Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompas ...
* Tauese PF Sunia Ocean Center, visitor center for National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa * Air Disaster Memorial, in Utulei. Monument for the eight deceased during a 1980 airplane crash


In popular culture

* ''
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'' (1921) by W. Somerset Maugham is set in Pago Pago. Movie adaptions include ''Sadie Thompson (film), Sadie Thompson'' (1928), ''Rain (1932 film), Rain'' (1932), and ''Miss Sadie Thompson'' (1953). * ''The Blonde Captive'' (1931) was filmed in Pago Pago.American Film Institute (1993). ''The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Volume 1''. University of California Press. Page 1111. . * ''The Hurricane (1937 film), The Hurricane'' (1937) and its sequel, Hurricane (1979 film), Hurricane (1979), were set in Pago Pago. The 1937 film was filmed in Pago Pago. * The storyline in the film ''South of Pago Pago'' (1940) is set here. This movie was partly shot in Pago Pago, although most filming took place in Hawai'i and Long Beach, CA. * A jungle village resembling Pago Pago was created for motion picture in Two Harbors, California, Two Harbors, Catalina Island, CA. Several Rain (short story), Sadie Thompson films were shot here. * ''Lost and Found on a South Sea Island'' (1923) is set in Pago Pago. * ''Next Goal Wins (2014 film), Next Goal Wins'' (2014), British documentary filmed in Pago Pago. * Samoa, California was named in honor of American Samoa. It was assumed that the harbor in Pago Pago looked similar to that of the town, and it consequentially got the name Samoa, CA in the 1890s. * ''In the Sweet Pie and Pie'' (1941), The Three Stooges short. Pago Pago is mentioned as being one of the locations for the fictional Heedam Neckties stores.


Notable people

* Peter Tali Coleman, 43rd, 51st, and 53rd Governor of American Samoa * Al Harrington (actor), Al Harrington, actor most known for his role in ''Hawaii Five-O (1968 TV series), Hawaii Five-O''Hunter, James Michael (2013). ''Mormons and Popular Culture: The Global Influence of an American Phenomenon''. Literature, art, media, tourism, and sports. Volume 2. ABC-CLIO. Page 237. . * Gary Scott Thompson, director and television producer * John Kneubuhl, screenwriter * Shalom Luani, NFL player for the Los Angeles Chargers * Junior Siavii, Former NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, and the Seattle Seahawks * Jonathan Fanene, Former NFL player for the Cincinnati Bengals * Mosi Tatupu, Former NFL player for the New England Patriots, and the Los Angeles Rams * Shaun Nua, Former NFL player for the Pittsburgh Steelers * Isaac Sopoaga, Former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and the Arizona Cardinals * Daniel Teo-Nesheim, Former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Kennedy Polamalu, football coach * Frank Solomon, rugby player * Faauuga Muagututia, US Navy Seal * Amata Coleman Radewagen, Delegate (United States Congress), Delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives * Fofó Iosefa Fiti Sunia, first non-voting Delegate from American Samoa to the U.S. House of Representatives * Louisa Mavaega, women's footballer * Rawlston Masaniai, soccer player * Palauni Ma Sun, American football offensive lineman * Joey Iosefa, football player * Bob Apisa, football player * Domata Peko, football player * Isaako Aaitui, football player * Ramin Ott, player for the American Samoa national football team * Kennedy Polamalu, football coach and former player * Gabe Reid, former football tight end for the NFL's Chicago Bears * Nicky Salapu, soccer player * Trevor Misipeka, football player * Frank Solomon, rugby player * Cocoa Samoa, wrestler * Mighty Mo (kickboxer), Mighty Mo, kickboxer


See also

* List of reduplicated place names


References


External links


Pago Pago, American Samoa
National Weather Service Office

Weather underground
Census-2010
Population {{Authority control Pago Pago, Tutuila Villages in American Samoa Capitals in Oceania Capitals of political divisions in the United States Port cities in Oceania