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American Samoa
Samoa
(/səˈmoʊə/ (listen); locally /ˈsɑːmoʊə/; Samoan: Amerika Sāmoa, [aˈmɛɾika ˈsaːmʊa]; also Amelika Sāmoa or Sāmoa Amelika) is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa.[5] Its location is centered on 14.2710° S, 170.1322° W. It is on the eastern border of the International Date Line, while independent Samoa is west of it. American Samoa
Samoa
consists of five main islands and two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island
Swains Island
also included in the territory. All islands except for Swains Island
Swains Island
are part of the Samoan Islands, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
group. As of April 2019 the population of American Samoa
Samoa
is approximately 55,689 people.[1][6][7] Most of them are "nationals but not citizens of the United States
United States
at birth"; as well as birthright citizenship not applying on the islands, American Samoans cannot vote in the American Presidential elections.[8][7][6] Most American Samoans
Samoans
are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa. The total land area is 199 square kilometers (76.8 sq mi), slightly more than Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
American Samoa
Samoa
is the southernmost territory of the United States
United States
and one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island. Tuna products are the main exports, and the main trading partner is the United States. American Samoa
Samoa
has been a member of the Pacific Community
Pacific Community
since 1983. During the 1918 flu pandemic, Governor John Martin Poyer
John Martin Poyer
quarantined the territory, and because of his actions, American Samoa
Samoa
was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred. American Samoa
Samoa
is noted for having the highest rate of military enlistment of any U.S. state
U.S. state
or territory. As of September 9, 2014, the local U.S. Army recruiting station in Pago Pago
Pago Pago
was ranked first in production out of the 885 Army recruiting stations and centers under the United States
United States
Army Recruiting Command, which includes the 50 states, the District
District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Marshall Islands, South Korea, Japan, and Europe.[9]

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1 History

1.1 18th century: First Western contact 1.2 19th century 1.3 20th century

1.3.1 Early 20th century 1.3.2 U.S. territory 1.3.3 World War I
World War I
and the 1918 flu pandemic 1.3.4 Interwar period

1.3.4.1 American Samoa
Samoa
Mau movement 1.3.4.2 Annexation
Annexation
of Swains Island 1.3.4.3 Pan American and first trans-South Pacific flight

1.3.5 World War II
World War II
and aftermath 1.3.6 1951–1999

1.4 21st century

2 Notable events

2.1 Pre-20th century 2.2 20th century 2.3 21st century

2.3.1 September 2009 earthquake and tsunami

3 Government and politics

3.1 Government 3.2 Politics

3.2.1 Nationality 3.2.2 Immigration law

3.2.2.1 Land ownership 3.2.2.2 Official protest to naming of neighboring Samoa

3.3 Administrative divisions

4 Geography 5 Climate 6 Economy

6.1 Taxation

7 Transportation 8 Demographics

8.1 Ethnicity and language 8.2 Religion 8.3 Education

9 Culture 10 Sports

10.1 American football 10.2 Soccer 10.3 Rugby league 10.4 Rugby union 10.5 Other sports

11 Recreation 12 Wildlife

12.1 Fruit bats 12.2 Avifauna

13 See also 14 References 15 Further reading 16 External links

History[edit] Main articles: History of Samoa
Samoa
and History of American Samoa Samoa
Samoa
Islands 18th century: First Western contact[edit] Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century. Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first known European to sight the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
in 1722, calling them the "Baumann Islands" after one of his captains. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who named them the "Îles des Navigateurs" in 1768. British explorer James Cook
James Cook
recorded the island names in 1773, but never visited.[10] The 1789 visit by La Perouse ended in an attack and resulted in the death of his second in command Capt. de Langle and several of his crew on a Tutuila
Tutuila
water collection expedition. La Perouse named the island "Massacre Island", and the bay near Aasu is still called "Massacre Bay".[10] H.M.S. Pandora, under the command of Edwards, visited the island in 1791 during its search for the H.M.S. Bounty mutineers. Von Kotzebue visited in 1824.[10]

19th century[edit] Main articles: Samoan crisis, Samoan Civil War, Second Samoan Civil War, and Tripartite Convention Mission work in the Samoas had begun in late 1830 when John Williams of the London Missionary Society
London Missionary Society
arrived from the Cook Islands
Cook Islands
and Tahiti.[11] By that time, the Samoans
Samoans
had gained a reputation for being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and European visitors. Nevertheless, by the late nineteenth century, French, British, German, and American vessels routinely stopped at Samoa, as they valued Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Harbor
Harbor
as a refueling station for coal-fired shipping and whaling. The US Exploring Expedition
US Exploring Expedition
visited in 1839.[12]

1896 map of the Samoa
Samoa
Islands. German, British and American warships in Apia
Apia
Harbor, Samoa, 1899. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, and in doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Apia
Apia
harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there.[13] Before any shots were fired, a typhoon wrecked both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice was then called because of the lack of any warships.[13]

20th century[edit] Tuimanuʻa Elisala Alalamua. The last official titleholder of Tui Manu'a
Manu'a
(1899–1909) Early 20th century[edit] At the turn of the twentieth century, international rivalries in the latter half of the century were settled by the 1899 Tripartite Convention in which Germany
Germany
and the United States
United States
partitioned the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
into two parts:[14] The eastern island group became a territory of the United States
United States
(the Tutuila
Tutuila
Islands in 1900 and officially Manu'a
Manu'a
in 1904)[15] and is today known as American Samoa; the western islands, by far the greater landmass, became known as German Samoa, after Britain gave up all claims to Samoa
Samoa
and in return accepted the termination of German rights in Tonga and certain areas in the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
and West Africa.[16] Forerunners to the Tripartite Convention
Tripartite Convention
of 1899 were the Washington Conference of 1887, the Treaty of Berlin of 1889 and the Anglo-German Agreement on Samoa
Samoa
of 1899.

U.S. territory[edit] Rear Admiral. Benjamin Franklin Tilley, the first Governor of American Samoa
Samoa
(1900–1901) The following year, the U.S. formally annexed its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago. After the United States
United States
Navy took possession of eastern Samoa
Samoa
for the United States
United States
government, the existing coaling station at Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Bay was expanded into a full naval station, known as United States
United States
Naval Station Tutuila
Tutuila
and commanded by a commandant. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila
Deed of Cession of Tutuila
in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa in 1904 on behalf of the US government. The last sovereign of Manuʻa, the Tui Manuʻa Elisala, signed a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa following a series of U.S. naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu", in Pago Pago, Taʻu, and aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat.[17] The territory became known as the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. On July 17, 1911, the US Naval Station Tutuila, which was composed of Tutuila, Aunu'u
Aunu'u
and Manu'a, was officially renamed American Samoa.[18][19] People of Manu'a
Manu'a
had been unhappy since they were left out of the name "Naval Station Tutuila". In May 1911, Governor William Michael Crose
William Michael Crose
authored a letter to the Secretary of the Navy conveying the sentiments of Manu'a. The department responded that the people should choose a name for their new territory. The traditional leaders chose “American Samoa”, and, on July 7, 1911, the solicitor general of the Navy authorized the governor to proclaim it as the name for the new territory.[20]

World War I
World War I
and the 1918 flu pandemic[edit] Commander John Martin Poyer
John Martin Poyer
served as the 12th Governor of American Samoa
Samoa
(1915–1919)[21] In 1918, during the final stages of World War I, the flu pandemic had taken its toll, spreading rapidly from country to country. American Samoa
Samoa
became one of only places in the world (the others being New Caledonia and Marajó
Marajó
island in Brazil) to have proactively prevented any deaths during the pandemic through the quick response from Governor John Martin Poyer
John Martin Poyer
after hearing news reports of the outbreak on the radio and requesting quarantine ships from the U.S. mainland. The result of Poyer's quick actions earned him the Navy Cross
Navy Cross
from the U.S. Navy. With this distinction, American Samoans
Samoans
regarded Poyer as their hero for what he had done to prevent the deadly disease. The neighboring New Zealand
New Zealand
territory at the time, Western Samoa, suffered the most of all Pacific islands, with 90% of the population infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women and 10% of children died. Poyer offered assistance to help his New Zealand
New Zealand
counterparts, but was refused by the administrator of Western Samoa, Robert Logan, who became outraged after witnessing the number of quarantine ships surrounding American Samoa. Angered by this, Logan had cut off communications with his American counterparts.

Interwar period[edit] American Samoa
Samoa
Mau movement[edit] After World War I, during the time of the Mau movement
Mau movement
in Western Samoa
Samoa
(then a League of Nations
League of Nations
mandate governed by New Zealand), there was a corresponding American Samoa
Samoa
Mau movement
Mau movement
led by Samuelu Ripley, a World War I
World War I
veteran who was from Leone village, Tutuila. After meetings in the United States
United States
mainland, he was prevented from disembarking from the ship that brought him home to American Samoa
Samoa
and was not allowed to return because the American Samoa
Samoa
Mau movement
Mau movement
was suppressed by the U.S Navy. In 1930, the U.S. Congress sent a committee to investigate the status of American Samoa, led by Americans who had a part in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Annexation
Annexation
of Swains Island[edit] Swains Island, which had been included in the list of guano islands appertaining to the United States
United States
and bonded under the Guano Islands Act, was annexed in 1925 by Pub. Res. 68–75.[22]

Pan American and first trans-South Pacific flight[edit] The Samoan Clipper In 1938, the noted aviator Ed Musick
Ed Musick
and his crew died on the Pan American World Airways S-42 Samoan Clipper
Samoan Clipper
over Pago Pago, while on a survey flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Sometime after takeoff, the aircraft experienced trouble, and Musick turned it back toward Pago Pago. While the crew dumped fuel in preparation for an emergency landing, an explosion occurred that tore the aircraft apart.[23]

World War II
World War II
and aftermath[edit] During World War II, U.S. Marines stationed in Samoa
Samoa
outnumbered the local population and had a huge cultural influence. Young Samoan men from age 14 and above were combat trained by U.S. military personnel. Samoans
Samoans
served in various capacities during World War II, including as combatants, medical personnel, code personnel, and ship repairmen. In 1949, Organic Act
Organic Act
4500, a U.S. Department of Interior–sponsored attempt to incorporate American Samoa, was introduced in Congress. It was ultimately defeated, primarily through the efforts of Samoan chiefs, led by Tuiasosopo Mariota.[24] The efforts of these chiefs led to the creation of a territorial legislature, the American Samoa
Samoa
Fono, which meets in the village of Fagatogo.

1951–1999[edit] Locations of Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
splashdowns of American spacecraft By 1956, the U.S. Navy–appointed governor was replaced by Peter Tali Coleman, who was locally elected. Although technically considered "unorganized" since the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory, American Samoa
Samoa
is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967. The U.S. Territory of American Samoa
Samoa
is on the United Nations
United Nations
list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, a listing which is disputed by the territorial government officials, who do consider themselves to be self-governing. American Samoa
Samoa
and Pago Pago
Pago Pago
International Airport
Airport
had historic significance with the Apollo Program.[25] The astronaut crews of Apollo 10, 12, 13, 14, and 17 were retrieved a few hundred miles from Pago Pago
Pago Pago
and transported by helicopter to the airport prior to being flown to Honolulu on C-141 Starlifter
C-141 Starlifter
military aircraft.[26] While the two Samoas share language and ethnicity, their cultures have recently followed different paths, with American Samoans
Samoans
often emigrating to Hawaiʻi and the US mainland, and adopting many US customs, such as the playing of American football
American football
and baseball. Samoans
Samoans
have tended to emigrate instead to New Zealand, whose influence has made the sports of rugby and cricket more popular in the western Samoan islands. Travel writer Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux
noted that there were marked differences between the societies in Samoa
Samoa
and American Samoa.

21st century[edit] American Samoans
Samoans
serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
U.S. Armed Forces
at disproportionately high rates.[27] Because of economic hardship, military service has been seen as an opportunity in American Samoa
Samoa
and other US Overseas territories.[28] This has meant that there has been a disproportionate number of casualties per population compared to other parts of the United States. As of March 23, 2009, ten American Samoans had died in Iraq, and two had died in Afghanistan.[29]

Notable events[edit] Pre-20th century[edit] Death of Fleuriot de Langle in 1787 On December 10, 1787, French navigator Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse landed two exploration parties on Tutuila's north shore: one from the ship La Boussole at Fagasa, and the other from L'Astrolabe at A'asu. One of the cooks, David, died of "scorbutic dropsy". On December 11, twelve members of Lapérouse's crew (including First Officer Paul Antoine Fleuriot de Langle) were killed by angry Samoans
Samoans
at A'asu Bay, Tutuila, thereafter known as "Massacre Bay", which Lapérouse described as "this den, more fearful from its treacherous situation and the cruelty of its inhabitants than the lair of a lion or a tiger". This incident gave Samoa
Samoa
a reputation for savagery that kept Europeans away until the arrival of the first Christian missionaries four decades later. On December 12, at A'asu Bay, Lapérouse ordered his gunners to fire one cannonball in the midst of the attackers who had killed his men the day before, and were now returning to launch another attack. He later wrote in his journal "I could have destroyed or sunk a hundred canoes, with more than 500 people in them: but I was afraid of striking the wrong victims; the call of my conscience saved their lives."[30][31] In 1889, Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
paid a visit to Pago Pago. [32]

20th century[edit] English author W. Somerset Maugham
W. Somerset Maugham
stayed at Sadie Thompson Inn during his 6-week visit to Pago Pago
Pago Pago
in 1916. On December 15, 1916, English writer William Somerset Maugham
William Somerset Maugham
arrived in Pago Pago, allegedly accompanied by a missionary and Miss Sadie Thompson. His visit inspired his short story "Rain" which later became plays and three major Motion Pictures. The building still stands where Maugham stayed and has been renamed the Sadie Thompson Building. Today it is a prominent restaurant and inn.[33] On November 3, 1920, American Samoa's 12th naval governor, Commander Warren Jay Terhune, committed suicide with a pistol in the bathroom of the government mansion, overlooking the entrance to Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Harbor. His body was discovered by Government House's cook, SDI[clarification needed] First Class Felisiano Debid Ahchica, USN. His ghost is rumored to walk about the grounds at night.[34]

Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Harbor
Harbor
today and inter-island dock area. On August 11, 1925, Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
arrived in American Samoa
Samoa
aboard the SS Sonoma to begin fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation in anthropology at Columbia University, where she was a student of Professor Franz Boas. Her work Coming of Age in Samoa
Samoa
was published in 1928, at the time becoming the most widely read book in the field of anthropology. The book has sparked years of ongoing and intense debate and controversy. Mead returned to American Samoa
Samoa
in 1971 for the dedication of the Jean P. Haydon Museum. On November 24, 1939, American Samoa's last execution was carried out. Imoa was convicted of stabbing Sema to death and was hanged in the Customs House. The popular Samoan song "Fa'afofoga Samoa" is based on this, said to be the final words of Imoa.[35] On January 11, 1942, at 2:26 a.m., a Japanese submarine surfaced off Tutuila
Tutuila
between Southworth Point and Fagasa Bay and fired about 15 shells from its 5.5-inch deck gun at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila over the next 10 minutes. The first shell struck the rear of Frank Shimasaki's store, ironically owned by one of Tutuila's few Japanese residents. The store was closed, as Mr. Shimasaki had been interned as an enemy alien. The next shell caused slight damage to the naval dispensary, the third landed on the lawn behind the naval quarters known as "Centipede Row," and the fourth struck the stone seawall outside the customs house. The other rounds fell harmlessly into the harbor. As one writer described it, "The fire was not returned, notwithstanding the eagerness of the Samoan Marines to test their skill against the enemy ... No American or Samoan Marines were wounded."[36] Commander Edwin B. Robinson was bicycling behind Centipede Row and was wounded in the knee by a piece of shrapnel, and "a member of the colorful native Fita Fita Guard" received minor injuries; they were the only casualties. This was the only time the Japanese attacked Tutuila
Tutuila
during World War II, although "Japanese submarines had patrolled the waters around Samoa
Samoa
before the war, and continued to be active there throughout the war."[36] On August 24, 1943, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
visited American Samoa
Samoa
and inspected the Fita Fita Guard and Band and the First Samoan Battalion of U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at the U.S. Naval Station American Samoa.[37][38] The fact that First Lady reviewed the troops led to further assurance that Tutuila
Tutuila
Island was considered safe.[39] Her presence underscored that World War II had passed by American Samoa. While the Fita Fita band played, Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
inspected the guard.[40] On October 18, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson
and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson
Lady Bird Johnson
visited American Samoa. Mrs. Johnson dedicated the "Manulele Tausala" ("Lady Bird") Elementary School in Nu'uuli, which was named after her. Johnson is the only US President to have visited American Samoa, while Mrs. Johnson was the second First Lady, preceded by Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
in 1943.[41] The territory's only hospital was renamed in honor of President Johnson - LBJ Tropical Medical Center.[42] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, American Samoa
Samoa
played a pivotal role in five of the Apollo Program
Apollo Program
missions. The astronauts landed several hundred miles from Pago and were transported to the islands en route back to the mainland. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
gave three moon rocks to the American Samoan government, and these are on display in the Jean P. Haydon Museum, along with a flag carried to the moon on one of the missions.[43] In November 1970, Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
visited American Samoa
Samoa
in a brief but lavish greeting.[44] On January 30, 1974, Pan Am Flight 806
Pan Am Flight 806
from Auckland, New Zealand crashed at Pago Pago
Pago Pago
International Airport
Airport
at 10:41 p.m., with 91 passengers aboard. 86 people were killed, including Captain Leroy A. Petersen and the entire flight crew. Four of the five surviving passengers were seriously injured, with the other only slightly injured. The airliner was completely destroyed by the impact and succeeding fire. The crash was attributed to poor visibility, pilot error, or wind shear, since a violent storm was raging at the time.[45] In January 2014, filmmaker Paul Crompton visited the territory to interview local residents for a documentary film about the 1974 crash. A U.S. Navy P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
patrol plane from Patrol Squadron 50 (VP-50) had its vertical stabilizer shorn off by the Solo Ridge-Mount Alava aerial tramway cable across Pago Pago
Pago Pago
harbor on April 17, 1980 during the Flag Day celebrations, when carrying six skydivers from the U.S. Army's Hawaii-based Tropic Lightning Parachute Club. The plane crashed, demolishing a wing of the Rainmaker Hotel
Rainmaker Hotel
and killing all six crew members and one civilian. The six skydivers had already left the aircraft during a demonstration jump. A memorial monument is erected on Mt. Mauga O Ali'i to honor their memory. On November 1, 1988, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
signed a bill which created American Samoa
Samoa
National Park.[46]

21st century[edit] On July 22, 2010, Det. Lt. Lusila Brown was fatally shot outside the temporary High Court building in Fagatogo. It was the first time in more than 15 years that a police officer was killed in the line of duty. The last was Sa Fuimaono, who drowned after saving a teenager from rough seas.[47] On November 8, 2010, United States
United States
Secretary of State and former First Lady Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
made a refueling stopover at the Pago Pago International Airport. She was greeted by government dignitaries and presented with gifts and a traditional ava ceremony.[48] Mike Pence
Mike Pence
was the third sitting U.S. Vice President to visit American Samoa[49] when he made a stopover in Pago Pago
Pago Pago
in April 2017.[50] He addressed 200 soldiers here during his refueling stop.[51] U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson
visited town on June 3, 2017.[52]

September 2009 earthquake and tsunami[edit] Main article: 2009 Samoa
Samoa
earthquake and tsunami Tonga
Tonga
Trench south of the Samoa
Samoa
Islands and north of New Zealand. On September 29, 2009, at 17:48:11 UTC, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck 120 miles (190 km) off the coast of American Samoa, followed by smaller aftershocks.[53] It was the largest earthquake of 2009. The quake occurred on the outer rise of the Kermadec- Tonga
Tonga
Subduction Zone. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates in the Earth's lithosphere meet and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. The quake struck 11.2 miles (18.0 km) below the ocean floor and generated an onsetting tsunami that killed more than 170 people in the Samoa
Samoa
Islands and Tonga.[54][55] Four waves with heights from 15 feet (4.6 m) to 20 feet (6.1 m) high were reported to have reached up to one mile (1.6 km) inland on the island of Tutuila.[56] The Defense Logistics Agency
Defense Logistics Agency
worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide 16' × 16' humanitarian tents to the devastated areas of American Samoa.

Government and politics[edit] Government[edit] Main article: Government of American Samoa The government of American Samoa
Samoa
is defined under the Constitution of American Samoa
Samoa
as an unincorporated territory; the Ratification Act of 1929 vested all civil, judicial, and military powers in the President of the United States
United States
of America. In 1951, with Executive Order 10264, President Harry Truman delegated that authority to the Secretary of the Interior. On June 21, 1963 Paramount Chief Tuli Le’iato
Paramount Chief Tuli Le’iato
of Faga’itua was sworn in and installed as the first Secretary of Samoan Affairs by Governor H. Rex Lee.[57] On June 2, 1967, Interior Secretary Fred Andrew Seaton
Fred Andrew Seaton
promulgated the Constitution of American Samoa, which took effect on July 1, 1967.

Former First Lady Mary Tulafono and former Governor Togiola Tulafono The Governor of American Samoa
Samoa
is the head of government and along with the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa
Samoa
is elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms. Since American Samoa
Samoa
is a self-governing territory, the President of the United States
United States
serves as the Head of State. He does not play an active role in government, but he can dissolve the Fono and no act of parliament will become law without his approval. The legislative power is vested in the American Samoa
Samoa
Fono, which has two chambers. The House of Representatives has 21 members, elected for a two-year term, 20 in single-seat constituencies and one by a public meeting on Swains Island. The Senate also has 18 members, elected for a four-year term by and from the chiefs of the islands.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga, the 57th and incumbent Governor of American Samoa
Samoa
(2013–present) The judiciary of American Samoa
Samoa
is independent of the executive and the legislature, and the High Court of American Samoa
Samoa
is the highest court below the United States
United States
Supreme Court in American Samoa, with the District
District
Courts below it. The High Court is located in the capital of Pago Pago. It consists of a Chief Justice and an Associate Justice, appointed by the United States
United States
Secretary of the Interior.

Politics[edit] Main article: Politics of American Samoa See also: Elections in American Samoa
Samoa
and Political party strength in American Samoa Politics of American Samoa
Samoa
takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the Governor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. American Samoa
Samoa
is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1966, the United Nations
United Nations
gave American Samoa
Samoa
the option of joining the independent country of Samoa, but American Samoa
Samoa
chose to stay in the United States.[58] American Samoa's constitution was ratified in 1966 and came into effect in 1967. Executive power is exercised by the governor. Legislative power
Legislative power
is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. The American political parties (Republican and Democratic) exist in American Samoa, but few politicians are aligned with the parties. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. There is also the traditional village politics of the Samoa
Samoa
Islands, the "fa'amatai" and the "fa'asamoa", which continues in American Samoa and in independent Samoa, and which interacts across these current boundaries. The Fa'asamoa is the language and customs, and the Fa'amatai
Fa'amatai
the protocols of the "fono" (council) and the chief system. The Fa'amatai
Fa'amatai
and the Fono take place at all levels of the Samoan body politic, from the family, to the village, to the region, to national matters. The 'aiga is the family unit of Samoan society, which differs from the Western sense of a family in that it consists of an 'extended family' based on the culture's communal socio-political organisation. The head of the 'aiga is the matai. The matai (chiefs) are elected by consensus within the fono of the extended family and village(s) concerned. The matai and the fono (which is itself made of matai) decide on distribution of family exchanges and tenancy of communal lands. The majority of lands in American Samoa
Samoa
and independent Samoa
Samoa
are communal. A matai can represent a small family group or a great extended family that reaches across islands, and to both American Samoa
Samoa
and independent Samoa. In 2010, voters rejected a package of amendments to the territorial constitution, which would have, among other things, allowed U.S. citizens to be legislators only if they had Samoan ancestry. In 2012, both the Governor and American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. Congress Eni Faleomavaega
Eni Faleomavaega
called for the populace to consider a move towards autonomy if not independence, to a mixed response.[59][60]

Nationality[edit] Further information: Tuaua v. United States According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the people born in American Samoa – including those born on Swains Island – are "nationals but not citizens of the United States at birth".[8][7][6][61] If a child is born on any of these islands to any U.S. citizen, then that child is considered a national and a citizen of the United States
United States
at birth.[62] In an amicus curiae brief filed in federal court, Samoan Congressman Faleomavaega supported the legal interpretation that the Citizenship Clause
Citizenship Clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment does not extend birthright citizenship to United States
United States
nationals born in unincorporated territories.[63][64] All U.S. nationals have statutory rights to reside in the United States
United States
(i.e., the 50 states and Puerto Rico), and may apply for citizenship by naturalization after three months of residency by passing a test in English and civics, and by taking an oath of allegiance to the United States.[65] However, the INA makes clear that any "national but not a citizen of the United States" who at any time has been convicted of any aggravated felony, whether the aggravated felony was committed inside or outside the United States, is "debarred from becoming a citizen of the United States".[66][67][68][69][70] Under Article II and Amendment XXIII of the U.S. Constitution, only states and the District
District
of Columbia may participate in the election of the president and vice president of the United States. Samoans
Samoans
are entitled to elect one non-voting delegate to the United States
United States
House of Representatives.[61] Their delegate from 1989 until 2015 was Democrat Eni Faleomavaega. In the 2014 Midterm Election, Republican Aumua Amata Radewagen
Aumua Amata Radewagen
defeated Eni Faleomavaega, becoming the first female and first Republican representative of American Samoa.[71] They also send delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Immigration law[edit] Unique among US outlying possessions, American Samoa
Samoa
has its own immigration law, separate from the laws that apply in the United States proper and their other possessions. While American citizens and nationals can freely move to American Samoa, the American Samoa government, via the Immigration Board of American Samoa, controls the migration of aliens to the islands.[72][73] Special application forms exist for migration to American Samoa
Samoa
based on family-based or employment-based sponsorship.[74] Unlike other U.S. territories (Guam, CNMI, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands), American Samoa
Samoa
is not considered a U.S. State for the purposes of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. This means that alien lawful permanent residents of the United States
United States
may be considered to have abandoned permanent residence if they have moved to live in American Samoa.[75][76]

Land ownership[edit] About 90 percent of the land is communally owned by 'aiga.[15][77] It is against the law for any person whose blood is less than one-half Samoan to own land in American Samoa.[78]

Official protest to naming of neighboring Samoa[edit] The United States
United States
Department of State Background Note web page for neighboring Samoa
Samoa
notes that:

In July 1997 the Constitution was amended to change the country's name from Western Samoa
Samoa
to Samoa
Samoa
(officially the "Independent State of Samoa").[79] Western Samoa
Samoa
had been known simply as Samoa
Samoa
in the United Nations
United Nations
since joining the organization in 1976. The neighboring U.S. territory of American Samoa
Samoa
protested the move, feeling that the change diminished its own Samoan identity. American Samoans
Samoans
still use the terms Western Samoa
Samoa
and Western Samoans.[80] Administrative divisions[edit] Main article: Administrative divisions of American Samoa American Samoa
Samoa
is administratively divided into three districts—Eastern District, Western District, and Manu'a District—and two "unorganized" atolls, Swains Island
Swains Island
and the uninhabited Rose Atoll. The districts and unorganized atolls are subdivided into 74 villages. Pago Pago—the capital of American Samoa[5]—is one of the largest villages and is located on the eastern side of Tutuila
Tutuila
island in Ma'oputasi County. Fagatogo
Fagatogo
is listed in the Constitution of American Samoa
Samoa
as the official seat of government, but it is not the capital.[81][82][83]

Geography[edit] Map of American Samoa American Samoa, located within the geographical region of Oceania, is one of only two possessions of the United States
United States
in the Southern Hemisphere, the other being Jarvis Island. Its total land area is 76.1 square miles (197.1 km2) – slightly larger than Washington, D.C. – consisting of five rugged, volcanic islands and two coral atolls.[84] The five volcanic islands are Tutuila, Aunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta‘ū. The coral atolls are Swains and Rose Atoll. Of the seven islands, Rose Atoll
Atoll
is the only uninhabited one; it is a Marine National Monument.

A view of American Samoa's Ofu beach in Ofu-Olosega Coastline of American Samoa Due to its positioning in the South Pacific Ocean, it is frequently hit by tropical cyclones between November and April. Rose Atoll
Atoll
is the easternmost point of the territory. American Samoa's Rose Atoll
Atoll
is the southernmost point of the United States.[85] American Samoa
Samoa
is home to the National Park of American Samoa. The highest mountains are: Lata Mountain
Lata Mountain
(Ta‘ū), 3,170 feet (966 m.); Matafao Peak, 2,141 feet (653 m.); Piumafua (Olosega), 2,095 feet (639 m.); and Tumutumu (Ofu), 1,621 feet (494 m.). Mount Pioa, nicknamed the Rainmaker, is 1,718 feet (524 m.).[86] American Samoa
Samoa
is also home to some of the world’s highest sea cliffs at 3,000 feet (914 m.).[87] The Vailulu'u
Vailulu'u
Seamount, an active submerged volcano, lies 28 miles (45 km) east of Ta‘ū
Ta‘ū
in American Samoa. It was discovered in 1975 and has since been studied by an international team of scientists, contributing towards understanding of the Earth's fundamental processes.[88] Growing inside the summit crater of Va'ilulu'u is an active underwater volcanic cone, named after Samoa's goddess of war, Nafanua.

Climate[edit] American Samoa
Samoa
has a tropical climate all year round with two distinct seasons, the wet and dry season. The wet season is usually between December and March and the dry season from April through to September with the average daily temperature around 81–83 °F (27–28 °C) all year round. The climate is warm, tropical, and humid, averaging around 80 degrees, with a variation of about 15 degrees during the year. The southern hemisphere winter, from June to September, is the coolest time of the year. The summer months of December to March bring warmer temperatures, while the months from April to November are considered the rainy season. Throughout the year, however, rain follows clouds blown in by the trade winds that rise from the east almost daily. The mountains of the Pago Pago
Pago Pago
area, standing protectively over Pago Pago Harbor, catch these clouds, bringing an average of 200 inches of rainfall per year.[89]

Economy[edit] Main article: Economy of American Samoa Mascot "Charlie the Tuna" at the StarKist cannery in Atu'u. Tuna
Tuna
boats in the port of Pago Pago Tisa’s Barefoot Bar & Grill American Samoa
Samoa
Community College The economic health of American Samoa
Samoa
reflects the trends in other populated U.S. territories, which are in turn dependent on federal appropriations. Federal dollars enter the economy through congressional appropriations, categorical grants, Social Security payments, and payments to Samoans
Samoans
retired from the Military. Tuna canning is the backbone of the American Samoa
Samoa
economy. Cannery employment and local auxiliary businesses provide additional revenues for the territorial government. In the mid-1960s, efforts began to develop a tourism industry in American Samoa. These efforts have been delayed due to issues such as inconsistent airlines services, insufficient high-quality accommodations, and the lack of well-trained workers in the hospitality and tourism industries. Agriculture and fishing still provide sustenance for local families.[90] Employment on the island falls into three relatively equal-sized categories of approximately 5,000 workers each: the public sector, the single remaining tuna cannery, and the rest of the private sector. There are only a few federal employees in American Samoa
Samoa
and a few active duty military personnel, except members of the U.S. Coast Guard, military recruiters, and some Full Time Support staff at the Pele Army Reserve unit that maintains the facility and provides cadre, training, and logistics support. The Pele US Army Reserve Center is in Tafuna, Western District,[91] and a U.S. Army and United States Marine Corps recruiting station is in Nu'uuli, American Samoa. There are six Army Reserve units at Pele:[92]

Bravo Company, 100th Battalion, 442 Infantry; Charlie Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry; 411th Forward Support Company (Engineer); USAR Theater Support Group Detachment American Samoa; 1st Evacuation/Mortuary Platoon, 2nd Platoon, 962nd Quartermaster Company; and 127th Chaplain Detachment. The overwhelming majority of public sector employees work for the American Samoa
Samoa
territorial government. The one tuna cannery is StarKist, which exports several hundred million dollars worth of canned tuna to the United States
United States
each year. The other tuna cannery was Samoa
Samoa
Packing, a Chicken of the Sea subsidiary, but it closed in 2009 due to American Samoans
Samoans
being granted minimum wage.[93] In early 2007, the Samoan economy was highlighted in the Congress at the request of Eni Faleomavaega, the Samoan delegate to the United States House of Representatives, as it was not mentioned in the minimum wage bill.[clarification needed] From 2002 to 2007, real GDP of American Samoa
Samoa
increased at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent. The annual growth rates of real GDP ranged from −2.9 percent to +2.1 percent. The volatility in the growth rates of real GDP was primarily accounted for by changes in the exports of canned tuna. The tuna canning industry was the largest private employer in American Samoa
Samoa
during this period.

Summary statistics for American Samoa

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

2002–2007 AAGRA

GDPB

536 527 553 550 548 532

−0.1%

Real GDPC

527 535 539 550 534 537

0.4%

PopulationD

60,800 62,600 64,100 65,500 66,900 68,200

2.3%

Real GDP per capita

8,668 8,546 8,409 8,397 7,982 7,874

−1.9% A Average annual growth rate.B In millions of dollars.C In millions of 2005 chained dollars.D Source: 2008 American Samoa
Samoa
Statistical Yearbook. From 2002 to 2007, the population of American Samoa
Samoa
increased at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent, and real GDP per capita decreased at an average annual rate of 1.9 percent. Agricultural production serves as a cover for domestic needs and only a small share of fruits and vegetables are exported. According to figures as of 2013, the ratio between import and export is almost balanced. Many residents rely on transfer payments from relatives living in the mainland or from federal subsidies.[94] The Fair Labor Standards Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
of 1938 has contained special provisions for American Samoa
Samoa
since its inception, citing its limited economy.[95] American Samoan wages are based on the recommendations of a Special
Special
Industry Committee meeting bi-annually.[96] Originally, the act contained provisions for other territories, provisions which were phased out as those territories developed more diverse economies.[97] In 2007, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
was passed, increasing minimum wage in American Samoa
Samoa
by 50¢ per hour in 2007 and another 50¢ per hour each year thereafter until the minimum wage in American Samoa
Samoa
equals the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in the United States.[98] In response to the minimum wage increase, the Chicken of the Sea tuna canning plant was shut down in 2009 and 2,041 employees were laid off in the process.[99] The other major tuna canning plant in American Samoa
Samoa
is StarKist, which began laying off workers in August 2010, with plans to lay off a total of 800 workers due to the minimum wage increases and other rising operation costs.[100] American Samoa
Samoa
Governor Togiola Tulafono
Togiola Tulafono
suggested that, rather than laying off minimum wage workers, the companies could reduce salaries and bonuses of top-tier employees.[101] The unemployment rate was 29.8% in 2005, but has been improved to 23.8% as of 2010[update]. Samoa
Samoa
GDP is $537 million and its GDP per capita (PPP) is $8,000 as of 2007[update]. Some aspects of telecommunications in American Samoa
Samoa
are, like other U.S. territories, inferior to that of the mainland United States; a recent estimate showed that American Samoa's Internet speed is slower than that of several Eastern European countries.[102]

Taxation[edit] American Samoa
Samoa
is an independent customs territory. As such, local residents are not subject to U.S. federal income taxes on Samoan source income, nor are they subject to pay any real estate taxes on owned properties.[103]

Transportation[edit] The current territorial license plate design, introduced in 2011 American Samoa
Samoa
Route Marker – Main Road American Samoa
Samoa
has 241 km of highways (estimated in 2008).[5] The maximum speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Ports and harbors include Aunu‘u, Auasi, Faleāsao, Ofu and Pago Pago.[5] American Samoa
Samoa
has no railways.[5] The territory has three airports, all of which have paved runways. The main airport is Pago Pago
Pago Pago
International Airport,[5] on the island of Tutuila. The Manu'a
Manu'a
group has two airports: Ofu Airport
Airport
on the island of Ofu, and Fitiuta Airport
Airport
on the island of Ta'u. According to a 1999 estimate, the territory has no merchant marine.[5]

Demographics[edit] Main article: Demographics of American Samoa The current population of American Samoa
Samoa
is about 55,689 people,[1][6][7][2] 98% of whom live on the largest island, Tutuila.[61][104] Most of them are "nationals but not citizens of the United States
United States
at birth,"[8][7][6] while 7–15% are U.S. citizens and about 35% are foreigners.[105] Of the foreign-born population, 81% are from Samoa.[105] American Samoa
Samoa
is small enough to have just one ZIP code, 96799, and uses the US Postal Service (state code "AS") for mail delivery.[106][107]

Ethnicity and language[edit] Of the population, 91.6 percent are native Samoans, 2.8% are Asian, 1% is white, 4.2% are mixed, and 0.3% are of other origin. Most people are bilingual. Samoan, a language closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages, is spoken natively by 91% of the people and is the co-official language of the territory, while 80% speak English, 2.4% speak Tongan, 2% speak Japanese and other Asian languages, and 2% speak other Pacific islander languages.[5] At least some of the deaf population use Samoan Sign Language. Tokelauan is also spoken in Swains Island.

Religion[edit] One of many churches in Samoa Zion Church in Leone Major Christian denominations on the island include the Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa, the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and the Methodist Church of Samoa. Collectively, these churches account for the vast majority of the population. J. Gordon Elton in his book claims that the Methodists, Congregationalists
Congregationalists
with the London Missionary Society, and Roman Catholics led the first Christian missions to the islands. Other denominations arrived later, beginning in 1895 with the Seventh-day Adventists, various Pentecostals
Pentecostals
(including the Assemblies of God), Church of the Nazarene, Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CIA Factbook
CIA Factbook
2010 estimate shows the religious affiliations of American Samoa
Samoa
as 98.3% Christian, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.7%.[5] World Christian Database 2010 estimate shows the religious affiliations of American Samoa
Samoa
as 98.3% Christian, 0.7% agnostic, 0.4% Chinese Universalist, 0.3% Buddhist and 0.3% Bahá'í.[108] According to Pew Research Center, 98.3% of the total population is Christian. Among Christians, 59.5% are Protestant, 19.7% are Roman Catholic and 19.2% are other Christians. A major Protestant
Protestant
church on the island, gathering a substantial part of the local Protestant population, is the Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa, a Reformed
Reformed
denomination in the Congregationalist tradition. As of August 2017[update], The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website claims membership of 16,180 or one-quarter of the whole population, with 41 congregations, and 4 family history centers in American Samoa.[109] Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
claim 210 "ministers of the word" and 3 congregations.[110]

Education[edit] Leone High School The island contains 23 primary schools and 10 secondary schools, 5 are operated by the American Samoa
Samoa
Department of Education,[111] and the other 5 are administered by either religious denominations or are privately owned. American Samoa
Samoa
Community College, founded in 1970, provides post-secondary education on the islands.

Culture[edit] Jean P. Haydon Museum
Jean P. Haydon Museum
in Pago Pago. See also: Culture of Samoa The Samoan culture has developed over 3,500 years and largely withstood interaction with European cultures. It was adapted well to the teachings of Christianity. The Samoan language
Samoan language
is still in use in daily exchange, however, English is widely used and also the legal official language. Besides Samoan language
Samoan language
classes and cultural courses, all instructions in public schools are in English. The basic unit of the American Samoa
Samoa
culture is the aiga (family). It consists of both immediate and extended family. The matai, or chief, is the head of the aiga. The chief is the custodian of all aiga properties. A village (nu'u) is made up of several or many aiga with a common or shared interest. Each aiga is represented by their chief in the village councils.[112]

Sports[edit] See also: Sports in American Samoa American Samoa
Samoa
at the South Pacific Games The main sports played in American Samoa
Samoa
are football, Samoan cricket, canoeing, yachting, basketball, golf, netball, tennis, rugby, table tennis, boxing, bowling, volleyball, and fishing tournaments. Some current and former sports clubs are the American Samoa
Samoa
Tennis Association, Rugby Unions, Lavalava Golf
Golf
Club, and Gamefish Association. Leagues improved and organized better after the completion of the Veterans Memorial Stadium.[113] The 1997 South Pacific Mini Games were the biggest international event ever to take place in American Samoa. The bid to host the games for the 23 participating countries was approved in May 1993. In January 1994, Governor A. P. Lutali
A. P. Lutali
appointed Fuga Teleso to head the task force charged with game preparations, including the construction of a stadium. Groundbreaking was in January 1994. The Governor later handed the task force on preparations to Lieutenant Governor Togiola. The task force merged with the American Samoa
Samoa
National Olympics Committee to better coordinate and facilitate preparations. V.P. Willis Construction built the 1,500 seat stands. The Department of Public Safety trained its force for special games security. The opening ceremony became extravagant where the U.S. Army Reserve
U.S. Army Reserve
carried the torch from Tula and Leone.[114] About 2,000 athletes, coaches, and sponsors attended from 19 countries and competed in 11 sports at the game. American Samoa
Samoa
fielded a team of 248 athletes. The team won 48 medals, 22 of which were gold medals, and American Samoa
Samoa
came in fourth overall in the ratings. American Samoa
Samoa
Rotary Club honored Fuga Tolani Teleso with the community’s top award, the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, for his work on constructing the Veterans Memorial Stadium.[115] In 1982, yachters competed in the Hobie World Championship held in Tahiti. American Samoa
Samoa
beat the Apia
Apia
team by half a point and won the Samoa
Samoa
Cup. In 1983, a team coached by Dr. Adele Satele-Galeai brought home the winning trophy from the Regional Women's Volleyball Tournament in Hawai'i. Also in 1983, the South Pacific Games
South Pacific Games
were held in Apia. American Samoa
Samoa
received 13 medals: four gold, four silver, and five bronze. That same year, three junior golfers made the cut out of 1,000 players to attend the World Junior Golf
Golf
Tournament in San Diego, California.[116] In 1987, American Samoa
Samoa
became the 167th member of the International Olympic Committee. The first South Pacific Junior Tennis
Tennis
Tournament was held at the Tafuna courts in January of 1990.[117] Tony Solaita was the first American Samoan to play in Major League Baseball.[118] There are thirty players from American Samoa
Samoa
in the National Football League
National Football League
(NFL) as of 2015, and over 200 play Div. I NCAA Football.[119] Some American Samoan NFL football players are Shalom Luani, Junior Siavii, Jonathan Fanene, Mosi Tatupu, Shaun Nua, Isaac Sopoaga, and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. After World War II, a Welfare and Recreation Department was created. This department arranged bowling, softball, badminton tournaments, basketball, and volleyball at various Tutuila
Tutuila
locations. Boxing matches and dancing also became popular activities.[120]

American football[edit] High school football game Main article: American football
American football
in American Samoa About 30 ethnic Samoans, all from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League, and more than 200 play NCAA Division I college football.[121] In recent years, it has been estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the mainland United States) is anywhere from 40[122] to 56 times[121] more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American, giving American Samoa
Samoa
the nickname "Football Islands".[58] Six-time All-Pro Junior Seau
Junior Seau
was one of the most famous Americans of Samoan heritage ever to play in the NFL, having been elected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
safety Troy Polamalu, though born and raised in the mainland United States, is another famous American of Samoan heritage to have played in the NFL, not having his hair cut since 2000 (and only because a USC coach told him he had to) and wearing it down during games in honor of his heritage. The football culture was featured on 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
on January 17, 2010. American Samoa's delegation to the 2016 Republican National Convention boasted about being "the greatest exporter of NFL players".[123][124]

Soccer[edit] The American Samoa
Samoa
national association football team is one of the newest teams in the world, and is also noted for being the world's weakest. They lost to Australia
Australia
31–0 in a FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
qualifying match on April 11, 2001, but on November 22, 2011 they finally won their first ever game, beating Tonga
Tonga
2–1 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.[125] The appearance of American Samoa's Jaiyah Saelua in the contest "apparently became the first transgender player to compete on a World Cup stage".[126]

Rugby league[edit] The American Samoa
Samoa
national rugby league team represents the country in international rugby league. The team competed in the 1988, 1992, 1998 and 2004 Pacific Cup competitions. The team has also competed in the 2003 and 2004 World Sevens qualifiers in the 2005 World Sevens. America Samoa's first match in international Rugby League was in 1988 pacific cup against Tonga, Tonga
Tonga
won the match 38–14 which is still the biggest loss by an American Samoan side. American Samoa's biggest win was in 2004 against New Caledonia
New Caledonia
with the score ending at 62–6. American Samoa
Samoa
gets broadcasts of the National Rugby League
National Rugby League
in Australia
Australia
on free-to-air television.[127] There is also a new movement which aims to set up a four-team domestic competition in American Samoa.[127]

Rugby union[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Rugby union is a growing sport in American Samoa. The first rugby game recorded in American Samoa
Samoa
was in 1924, since then the development of the game had been heavily overshadowed by the influence of American Football during the 1970s. The highest governing body of rugby in American Samoa
Samoa
is the American Samoa
Samoa
Rugby Union which was founded in 1990 and was not affiliated into the IRB until 2012. Internationally, two American Samoans
Samoans
have played for the New Zealand
New Zealand
national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks. Frank Solomon
Frank Solomon
(born in Pago Pago) became the first American national of Samoan descent to play for a New Zealand team. Considered a pacific pioneer in New Zealand rugby,[citation needed] Solomon scored a try against Australia in the inaugural Bledisloe Cup
Bledisloe Cup
match in 1932, which New Zealand
New Zealand
won 21–13. The second American Samoan to play for the All Blacks
All Blacks
is Jerome Kaino (born in Faga'alu). A native of Leone, Kaino moved to New Zealand
New Zealand
when he was 4 years old. In 2004, at age 21, he played his first match for New Zealand
New Zealand
against the Barbarians where he scored his first try, contributing to New Zealand's 47–19 victory that resulted in him becoming man of the match. He also played a crucial role in the Rugby World Cup 2011 playing every match in the tournament. He scored four tries in the event which led to New Zealand
New Zealand
winning the final against France
France
8–7. Kaino was also a key member of the 2015 Rugby World Cup squad, where he played every match including a try he scored in the quarterfinals against France
France
which New Zealand
New Zealand
won 62–13. He scored again in the semifinals against South Africa, which New Zealand
New Zealand
won 20–18. He played in the World Cup final against Australia
Australia
where New Zealand won again 34–17 to become world champions for a record 3 times (1987, 2011 and 2015). Kaino is one of twenty New Zealand
New Zealand
rugby players to have won the Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
twice, back to back in 2011 and 2015. In August 2015, the American Samoa
Samoa
Rugby Union Board selected Leota Toma Patu from the village of Leone as the coach for the Talavalu 15 men's team that represented American Samoa
Samoa
at the Ocean Cup 2015 in Papua New Guinea.

Other sports[edit] Boxing: Maselino Masoe, who represented American Samoa
Samoa
in three consecutive Olympics from 1988 to 1996, was WBA middleweight champion from 2004 to 2006. Professional wrestling: A number of American Samoan athletes have been very visible in professional wrestling. The Anoa'i family in particular has had many of its members employed by WWE. Sumo
Sumo
wrestling: Some Samoan Sumo
Sumo
wrestlers, most famously Musashimaru and Konishiki, have reached the highest ranks of ōzeki and yokozuna. Track and field: Hammer thrower Lisa Misipeka attracted international attention by winning a bronze medal in the 1999 World Championships in Athletics. Recreation[edit] Pola Island Matafao Peak
Matafao Peak
National Natural Landmark Aunu'u
Aunu'u
Island National Natural Landmarks A team from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
conducted a parks survey on American Samoa
Samoa
in the 1960s. Their team recommended sites at Cape Taputapu, Le'ala at Vailoatai, A'oloau
A'oloau
Fou (the plateau), Matautuloa Point, Nu'uuli, Matafao Peak, Pago Pago, Vai'ava Strait, Anasosopo, 'Aoa, Cape Matautuloa, and Aunu'u
Aunu'u
Island. After an initial objection, Secretary Le'iato gave his support and was appointed Chairman of the Territorial Parks and Recreation Committee. The first field meeting for a parkland acquisition was held between Judge Morrow on behalf of the government and the village council of Vatia to make the Pola Island area a public park. The dredge Palolo was hired from Upolu
Upolu
in January 1966 in order to dredge sand for Utulei
Utulei
Beach. A specialist in beach developments, Ala Varone of the Army, directed the project. The centerpiece of the park was to be at the head of Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Harbor, where it proposed a 13-acre site created by the dredge. The park would have facilities for sports and recreation as well as facilities for boats and the growing number of Asian immigrants arriving from Korea, Japan
Japan
and China.[128] The Department of Parks and Recreation was created by law in 1980 and the Parks Commission was also established.[129] In 1981, Governor Peter Tali Coleman
Peter Tali Coleman
appointed Fuga Tolani Teleso as Director of Parks and Recreation. On May 25, 1984, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Onesosopo reclamation to initiate work on the first park in the Eastern District.[130] At the urging of Dr. Paul Cox, High Chief Nafanua
Nafanua
of Falealupo, and the Bat Preservers Association, Congressman Fofó Iosefa Fiti Sunia introduced a bill in 1984 which would enter American Samoa
Samoa
into the Federal Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act. The purpose of the bill was to protect the ancient paleotropical rainforests and the Flying fox megabat. The signing marked the beginning of American Samoa’s entry into the U.S. National Park System. In July 1987, the National Park Service began establishing a federal park. An initial appropriation of $400,000 was made in 1989. It contains one of the world’s most remarkable rain forest and coastal reef ecologies and spreads across three islands. One of the most popular sites on Tutuila
Tutuila
Island include Pola Rock, a rise of sheer rock formations that protrudes over 400 ft above the ocean’s surface. It is located off the shores of Vatia.[131] On September 19, 1991, Governor Peter Tali Coleman and Department of the Interior secretary Manuel Lujan
Manuel Lujan
signed leases formalizing the establishment of the fiftieth U.S. National Park.[132] The ASG Parks and Recreation oversees the maintenance of all public parks, including the Amanave
Amanave
Mini Park, Lions Park in Tafuna, Onesosopo Park in Aua, Malaloa
Malaloa
Mini Park, Faga'alu
Faga'alu
Park, Tia Seu Lupe historical site at Fatuoaiga, Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Park, Pago Pago
Pago Pago
Tennis
Tennis
Courts, the Little League Softball Field, Tony Sola'ita Baseball
Baseball
Field, Solo Ridge at the Utulei
Utulei
Tramway, Utulei
Utulei
Beach Park and Su’igaulaoleatuvasa in Utulei.[133] American Samoa
Samoa
has seven areas designated as National Natural Landmarks on Tutuila
Tutuila
Island. This program is administrated by the U.S. National Park Service and the areas contain unique ecological or geological features. With the exception of Vai'ava Strait, none of the areas are within the National Park of American Samoa.[134] American Samoa's seven National Natural Landmarks (NNL) were designated in 1972:

Cape Taputapu Fogama'a Crater Matafao Peak Le'ala Shoreline Rainmaker Mountain Vai'ava Strait Aunu'u
Aunu'u
Island Wildlife[edit] Notable terrestrial species include the Pacific boa
Pacific boa
and the Flying Megabat, which has a three-foot wingspread.[135] Two snake species can be found in American Sāmoa: The Australoasian blindsnake is found on Tutuila, while the Pacific boa
Pacific boa
occurs on Ta'ū. The islands are home to five species of geckos: Pacific slender-toed gecko, Oceanic gecko, Mourning gecko, Stump-toed gecko, and House gecko.[136][137] Turtles include the threatened Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle
and the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. Hawksbill sea turtles tend to nest on Tutuila beaches, while the Green sea turtle
Green sea turtle
is most common on Rose Atoll.[138] Tutuila
Tutuila
has the highest number of nesting turtles, consisting of around fifty nesting females per year.[139] American Sāmoa is home to one species of amphibian: the Cane toad. Biologists estimate that there are over two million toads on Tutuila.[140] 915 nearshore fish species have been recorded in American Sāmoa, compared to only 460 nearshore fish species in Hawai'i.[141] With over 950 species of native fish and 250 coral species, American Sāmoa has the greatest marine biodiversity in the United States.[142]

Fruit bats[edit] The Samoa
Samoa
flying fox is only found in Fiji
Fiji
and the Sāmoan Islands Megabats are the only native mammal in American Sāmoa. The islands are home to two species of fruit bats: Pacific Flying Fox
Pacific Flying Fox
and Samoa flying fox. The Sheath-tailed bat
Sheath-tailed bat
is another species found here, which is a smaller insect-eating bat. In 1992, the American Sāmoa Government banned the hunting of fruit bats to help their populations recover.[143] The Samoa
Samoa
flying fox is only found in Fiji
Fiji
and the Sāmoan Islands.[144][145] From 1995-2000, the population of Samoa
Samoa
flying fox remained stable at about 900 animals on Tutuila, and 100 in the Manu'a Islands.[146] As of the year 2000, scientists from the American Sāmoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resource estimated that there are fewer than 5,500 Pacific flying foxes in American Sāmoa, and an estimated 900 or fewer Samoa
Samoa
flying foxes.[147] The best and biggest known roost on Tutuila
Tutuila
Island for the Sheath-tailed bat
Sheath-tailed bat
is in the Anape'ape Cove near Āfono.[148] Amalau Valley
Amalau Valley
on Tutuila's north coast offers great roadside views of many bird species and both species of Flying fox
Flying fox
fruit bat.[149] The valley has been called a prime bird- and bat-watching area.[150][151][152]

Avifauna[edit] The Blue-crowned lorikeet
Blue-crowned lorikeet
is the only parrot found in American Sāmoa Sixteen of the Sāmoan Islands’ 34 bird species are found nowhere else on Earth. This includes the critically endangered Tooth-billed pigeon.[153] Four species of birds are only found in the Manu'a
Manu'a
Islands and not on Tutuila. These include American Sāmoa’s only parrot, the Blue-crowned Lory. Other special birds to Manu’a are the Lesser shrikebill
Lesser shrikebill
and the Friendly ground-dove. The Spotless crake has only been observed on Ta'ū Island.[154] There are more species of birds than all species of reptiles, mammals and amphibians combined. Native land birds include two honeyeaters: Cardinal honeyeater
Cardinal honeyeater
and Wattled honeyeater. Cardinal honeyeaters only occur on Tutuila
Tutuila
Island. The only endemic land bird to American Sāmoa is the Samoan starling. Four pigeons are native to American Sāmoa: Pacific imperial pigeon, Many-colored fruit dove, White-capped fruit dove, and Shy ground dove. The local government banned all pigeon hunting in 1992.[155] The Many-colored fruit dove
Many-colored fruit dove
is one of the rarest birds that nest on Tutuila. Studies in the 1980s estimated their population size at Tutuila
Tutuila
to be only around 80 birds.[156] Amalau Valley
Amalau Valley
has been described as the best place in American Sāmoa to observe the Many-colored fruit dove.[157] The offshore islet of Pola Island
Pola Island
near Vatia is a nesting site for many seabird species and an excellent area to observe seabirds.[158][159] The Pola region of Vatia and Rose Atoll
Atoll
are the only places in American Sāmoa where there are breeding colonies of Red-footed boobies.[160] Birds which depend on freshwater habitat include the Pacific reef heron and Pacific black duck, the Sāmoan Islands' only species of duck. The largest wetland areas are the pala lagoons in Nu'uuli
Nu'uuli
and Leone as well as Pala Lake on Aunu'u
Aunu'u
Island.[161]

See also[edit]

Oceania
Oceania
portal United States
United States
portal Index of American Samoa-related articles List of National Natural Landmarks in American Samoa List of people from American Samoa National Register of Historic Places listings in American Samoa Outline of American Samoa Polynesia References[edit]

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^ Sunia, Fofo I.F. (2009). A History of American Samoa. Amerika Samoa Humanities Council. Page 332. ISBN 9781573062992.

^ Sunia, Fofo I.F. (2009). A History of American Samoa. Amerika Samoa Humanities Council. Page 355. ISBN 9781573062992.

^ http://www.samoanews.com/park-usage-numbers-increase-despite-major-problems-vandalism-and-limited-facilities

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 281. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ Butcher, Russell D. and Lynn P. Whitaker (1999). National Parks and Conservation Association Guide to National Parks: Pacific Region. Globe Pequot Press. Page 82. ISBN 9780762705733.

^ https://www.nps.gov/npsa/learn/nature/upload/NatHistGuideAS09.pdf (Pages 60 and 77)

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 253. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ http://ecoadapt.org/data/documents/AmericanSamoa_VASummary_SeaTurtles.pdf

^ https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/5094344.pdf (Page 218)

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 252. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 20. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ Nichols, Wallace J. and Brad Nahill (2014). A Worldwide Travel Guide To Sea Turtles. Texas
Texas
A&M University Press. ISBN 9781623491741.

^ Haberle, Simon and Janelle Stevenson (2010). Altered Ecologies: Fire, Climate and Human Influence on Terrestrial Landscapes. ANU E Press. Page 102. ISBN 9781921666810.

^ https://www.nps.gov/npsa/learn/nature/upload/NatHistGuideAS09.pdf (Page 61)

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 200. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ Fleming, Theodore H. and Paul A. Racey (2010). Island Bats: Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Chicago Press. Page 432. ISBN 9780226253312.

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 199. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service (1997). ”National Park of American Samoa, General Management Plan (GP), Islands of Tutulla, Ta'u, and Ofu: Environmental Impact Statement.” Pages 129 and 131.

^ Goldin, Meryl Rose (2002). Field Guide to the Sāmoan Archipelago: Fish, Wildlife, and Protected Areas. Bess Press. Page 274. ISBN 9781573061117.

^ Stanley, David (2004). Moon Handbooks South Pacific. Moon Travel Guides. Page 483. ISBN 9781566914116.

^ Stanley, David (1996). South Pacific Handbook. David Stanley. Page 417. ISBN 9781566910408.

^ Stanley, David (1999). Moon Handbooks Tonga-Samoa. Moon Travel Guides. Page 180. ISBN 9781566911740.

^ Stanley, David (1982). South Pacific Handbook. David Stanley. Page 155. ISBN 9780960332236.

^ https://www.nps.gov/npsa/learn/nature/upload/NatHistGuideAS09.pdf (Page 124)

^ Haberle, Simon and Janelle Stevenson (2010). Altered Ecologies: Fire, Climate and Human Influence on Terrestrial Landscapes. ANU E Press. Pages 102-103. ISBN 9781921666810.

^ https://www.nps.gov/npsa/learn/nature/upload/NatHistGuideAS09.pdf (Page 105)

^ Watling, Dick and Dieter R. Rinke (2001). A Guide to the Birds of Fiji
Fiji
and Western Polynesia, Including American Samoa, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu
Tuvalu
and Wallis & Futuna. Environmental Consultants. Page 246. ISBN 9789829047014.

^ Muse, Corey and Shirley (1982). The Birds of Birdlore of Samoa. Pioneer Press. Page 15. ISBN 9780936546056.

^ Watling, Dick and Dieter R. Rinke (2001). A Guide to the Birds of Fiji
Fiji
and Western Polynesia, Including American Samoa, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu
Tuvalu
and Wallis & Futuna. Environmental Consultants. Page 246. ISBN 9789829047014.

^ Fai’ivae, Alex Godinet (2018). Ole Manuō o Tala Tu’u Ma Fisaga o Tala Ave. Amerika Samoa
Samoa
Humanities Council. Page 59. ISBN 9781546229070.

^ https://www.nps.gov/npsa/learn/nature/upload/NatHistGuideAS09.pdf (Pages 60 and 117)

Further reading[edit] See also: Bibliography of American Samoa Ellison, Joseph (1938). Opening and Penetration of Foreign Influence in Samoa
Samoa
to 1880. Corvallis: Oregon
Oregon
State College. Sunia, Fofo (1988). The Story of the Legislature
Legislature
of American Samoa. Pago Pago: American Samoa
Samoa
Legislature. Meti, Lauofo (2002). Samoa: The Making of the Constitution. Apia: Government of Samoa.

American Samoaat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Travel guide from Wikivoyage Resources from Wikiversity

External links[edit] AmericanSamoa.gov – Official Government Website Samoan Bios American Samoa
Samoa
at Curlie Wikimedia Atlas of American Samoa NOAA's National Weather Service – American Samoa Country data "American Samoa". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. American Samoa, national profile from the Association of Religion Data Archives.

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