American Samoa
Overview
 
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory
Unincorporated territories of the United States
Unincorporated territory is a legal term of art in United States law denoting an area controlled by the government of the United States, but which is not a part of the United States proper ....

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 (formerly known as Western Samoa). The main (largest and most populous) island is Tutuila
Tutuila
Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly northeast of Brisbane, Australia and over northeast of Fiji. It contains a large, natural harbor,...

, with the Manua
Manua
Manua, or the Manua Islands Group , in the Samoan Islands, consists of three main islands: Tau, Ofu and Olosega...

 Islands, Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll, sometimes called Rose Island or Motu O Manu by people of the nearby Manu'a Islands, is an oceanic atoll within the U.S. territory of American Samoa. It is an uninhabited wildlife refuge. It is the southernmost point in the United States. The land area is 0.214 km²...

, and Swains Island
Swains Island
Swains Island is an atoll in the Tokelau chain. Culturally a part of Tokelau, it is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States administered by American Samoa. Swains Island has also been known at various times as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa...

 also included in the territory.

American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
The Samoan Islands or Samoa Islands is an archipelago covering in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania...

 chain, located west of the Cook Islands
Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

, north of Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau
Tokelau
Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean that consists of three tropical coral atolls with a combined land area of 10 km2 and a population of approximately 1,400...

.
Encyclopedia
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory
Unincorporated territories of the United States
Unincorporated territory is a legal term of art in United States law denoting an area controlled by the government of the United States, but which is not a part of the United States proper ....

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 (formerly known as Western Samoa). The main (largest and most populous) island is Tutuila
Tutuila
Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly northeast of Brisbane, Australia and over northeast of Fiji. It contains a large, natural harbor,...

, with the Manua
Manua
Manua, or the Manua Islands Group , in the Samoan Islands, consists of three main islands: Tau, Ofu and Olosega...

 Islands, Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll, sometimes called Rose Island or Motu O Manu by people of the nearby Manu'a Islands, is an oceanic atoll within the U.S. territory of American Samoa. It is an uninhabited wildlife refuge. It is the southernmost point in the United States. The land area is 0.214 km²...

, and Swains Island
Swains Island
Swains Island is an atoll in the Tokelau chain. Culturally a part of Tokelau, it is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States administered by American Samoa. Swains Island has also been known at various times as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa...

 also included in the territory.

American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
The Samoan Islands or Samoa Islands is an archipelago covering in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania...

 chain, located west of the Cook Islands
Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand...

, north of Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau
Tokelau
Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean that consists of three tropical coral atolls with a combined land area of 10 km2 and a population of approximately 1,400...

. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

 group. The 2000 census
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 showed a total population of 57,291 people. The total land area is 76.1 square miles (197.1 km²), slightly more than Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States.

18th century – first Western contact

Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century. Jacob Roggeveen (1659–1729), a Dutchman, was the first known European to sight the Samoan islands in 1722. This visit was followed by the French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768. Contact was limited before the 1830s which is when English missionaries and traders began arriving.

Early Western contact included a battle in the eighteenth century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, giving them a reputation for ferocity. The site of this battle is called Massacre Bay
Massacre Bay
Massacre Bay is an inlet on the southeast coast of the island of Attu in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.Massacre Bay was among the landing sites of United States Army troops in the Battle of Attu in May 1943, which led to the recapture of the island from the Japanese during World War...

.

19th century

Mission work in the Samoas had begun in late 1830 by John Williams
John Williams (missionary)
John Williams was an English missionary, active in the South Pacific. Born near London, England, he was trained as a foundry worker and mechanic...

, of the London Missionary Society
London Missionary Society
The London Missionary Society was a non-denominational missionary society formed in England in 1795 by evangelical Anglicans and Nonconformists, largely Congregationalist in outlook, with missions in the islands of the South Pacific and Africa...

 arrived from The Cook Islands and Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

. By that time, the Samoans had gained a reputation of being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and French, British, German, and American forces, who, by the late nineteenth century, valued Pago Pago Harbor as a refueling station for coal-fired shipping and whaling.

20th century

In March 1889, a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 naval force invaded a village in Samoa, and by doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage three German warships found there. Before guns were fired, a typhoon
1889 Apia cyclone
The 1889 Apia cyclone was a Pacific tropical cyclone, which swept across Apia, Samoa on March 15, 1889 during the Samoan crisis. The effect on shipping in the harbour was devastating, largely because of what has been described as 'an error of judgement that will forever remain a paradox in human...

 wrecked both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 was called because of the lack of warships.

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 and the United States partitioned the Samoan Islands
Samoan Islands
The Samoan Islands or Samoa Islands is an archipelago covering in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania...

 into two parts: the eastern island group became a territory of the United States (the Tutuila Islands in 1900 and officially Manu'a in 1904) and is today known as American Samoa; the western islands, by far the greater landmass, became known as German Samoa
German Samoa
German Samoa was a German protectorate from 1900 to 1914, consisting of the islands of Upolu, Savai'i, Apolima and Manono, now wholly within the independent state Samoa, formerly Western Samoa...

 after Britain vacated all claims to Samoa and accepted termination of German rights in Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 and certain areas in the Solomon Islands and West Africa. Forerunners to the Tripartite Convention of 1899 were the Washington Conference of 1887, the Treaty of Berlin of 1889
Treaty of Berlin (1889)
The Treaty of Berlin was the concluding document of the conference at Berlin in 1889 on Samoa. The conference was proposed by German foreign minister Count Herbert von Bismarck to reconvene the adjourned Washington conference on Samoa of 1887...

 and the Anglo-German Agreement on Samoa of 1899.

A U.S. territory is born

The following year, the U.S. formally occupied its portion: a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which surrounds the noted harbor of Pago Pago
Pago Pago, American Samoa
Pago Pago , also spelled ', is the capital of American Samoa. In 2000, its population was 11,500. The city is served by Pago Pago International Airport. Tourism, entertainment, food, and tuna canning are the primary industries here. From 1878 to 1951, this was a coaling and repair station for the...

. After the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 took possession of eastern Samoa on behalf of the United States, the existing coaling station at Pago Pago Bay was expanded into a full naval station, known as United States Naval Station Tutuila
United States Naval Station Tutuila
United States Naval Station Tutuila was a naval station in Pago Pago Harbor on the island of Tutuila, part of American Samoa, built in 1899 and in operation until 1951. During the United States Navy rule of American Samoa, from 1900 to 1951, it was customary for the commandant of the station to...

 under the command of a commandant. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of in 1904. The last sovereign of , the , was forced to sign a Deed of Cession of following a series of U.S. Naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu", in Pago Pago, , and aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat. The territory became known as the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila.

On July 17, 1911, the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, which was composed of Tutuila, Aunu'u and Manu'a, was officially renamed American Samoa.

The early century and WW I

After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, during the time of the Mau movement
Mau movement
The Mau was a non-violent movement for Samoan independence from colonial rule during the early 1900s. The word 'Mau' means 'opinion' or 'testimony' denoting 'firm strength' in Samoan...

 in Western Samoa (then a League of Nations mandate governed by New Zealand), there was a corresponding American Samoa Mau movement, led by Lauaki Namulauulu Mamoe, a World War I veteran who was from Leone village. After meetings in the United States mainland, he was prevented from disembarking from the ship that brought him home to American Samoa and was not allowed to return because the American Samoa Mau movement was suppressed by the U.S. Navy. In 1930 the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 sent a committee to investigate the status of American Samoa, led by Americans who had had a part in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

.

The Pacific War (WW II)

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, U.S. Marines in Samoa outnumbered the local population, having a huge cultural influence. Young Samoan men from the age of 14 and above were combat trained by U.S. military personnel. Samoans served in various capacities during World War II, including as combatants, medical personnel, code personnel, and ship repairmen.

After World War II, Organic Act 4500, a U.S. Department of Interior
United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

-sponsored attempt to incorporate American Samoa, was defeated in Congress, primarily through the efforts of Samoan chiefs, led by Tuiasosopo Mariota. These chiefs' efforts led to the creation of a local legislature, the American Samoa Fono
American Samoa Fono
The Legislature of American Samoa or Fono is the territorial legislature of American Samoa. Like most state and territorial legislatures of the United States, it is a bicameral legislature with a House of Representatives and a Senate...

 which meets in the village of Fagatogo, often considered the territory's de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

and de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

capital (the United States regards Pago Pago as the official capital of the territory).

The latter century: 1951 to 1999

In time, the Navy-appointed governor was replaced by a locally elected one. Although technically considered "unorganized" since the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act
Organic Act
An Organic Act, in United States law, is an Act of the United States Congress that establishes a territory of the United States or an agency to manage certain federal lands. The first such act was the Northwest Ordinance, enacted by the Congress of the Confederation in 1787 in order to create the...

 for the territory, American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967. The U.S. Territory of American Samoa is on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
The United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories is a list of countries that, according to the United Nations, are non-decolonized. The list was initially prepared in 1946 pursuant to Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter, and has been updated by the General Assembly on recommendation...

, a listing which is disputed by the territorial government officials, who do consider themselves to be self-governing.

In July 1997, the Western Samoa's constitution was amended to change the name of the country to Samoa. The U.S. territory of American Samoa protested the move, asserting that the change diminished its own identity. American Samoans still use the terms Western Samoa and Western Samoans to describe the independent State of Samoa and its inhabitants.

While the two Samoas share language and ethnicity, their cultures have recently followed different paths, with American Samoans often emigrating to Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 and the U.S. mainland, and adopting many U.S. customs, such as the playing of American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 and baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

. Western Samoans have tended to emigrate instead to New Zealand, whose influence has made the sports of rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

 and cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 more popular in the western islands. Travel writer Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux
Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar . He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his...

 noted that there were marked differences between the societies in Samoa and American Samoa.

21st Century

Due to economic hardship, military service has been seen as an opportunity in American Samoa and other U.S. Overseas territories, this has meant that based on population there have been a disproportionate number of casualties per population compared to other parts of the United States. there have been 10 American Samoans who have died in Iraq, and 2 who have died in Afghanistan.

Pan American and first Trans South Pacific flight

In 1938, the noted aviator Ed Musick
Ed Musick
Edwin Charles Musick was Chief Pilot for Pan American World Airways and pioneered many of Pan Am's transoceanic routes including the famous route across the Pacific Ocean on the China Clipper....

 and his crew died on the Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 S-42 Samoan Clipper
Samoan Clipper
Samoan Clipper was one of ten Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-42 flying boats. It exploded over Pago Pago, American Samoa, on January 11, 1938, while piloted by famous aviator, Ed Musick. Musick and his crew of six died in the crash....

 over Pago Pago, while on a survey flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Sometime after take-off, the aircraft experienced trouble, and Musick turned it back toward Pago Pago. While the crew began dumping fuel in preparation for an emergency landing, a spark in the fuel pump caused an explosion that tore the aircraft apart in mid-air.

Apollo Space Program and American Samoa contribution

American Samoa and Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport , also referred to as Tafuna Airport , Tafuna Airfield, Tafuna Airbase or Pago Pago International with airport designation PPG is a public airport located seven miles southwest of the central business district of Pago Pago, in the village and plains of Tafuna on...

 had historic significance with the U.S. Apollo Program.
The astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

 crews of Apollo 10
Apollo 10
Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the American Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the...

, 12
Apollo 12
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the American Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon . It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L...

, 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

, 14
Apollo 14
Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the American Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks....

, and 17
Apollo 17
Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the...

 were retrieved a few hundred miles from Pago Pago and transported by helicopter to the airport prior to being flown to Honolulu on C-141 Starlifter
C-141 Starlifter
The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force...

 military aircraft.

September 2009 earthquake and tsunami

On September 29, 2009 at 17:48:11 UTC, an 8.1 magnitude
Richter magnitude scale
The expression Richter magnitude scale refers to a number of ways to assign a single number to quantify the energy contained in an earthquake....

 earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 struck 120 miles (193.1 km) off the coast of American Samoa, followed by smaller aftershocks. It was the largest earthquake of 2009. The quake occurred on the outer rise
Outer trench swell
The outer trench swell, outer trench high, or outer rise is a subtle ridge on the seafloor near an oceanic trench, where a descending plate begins to flex and fault in preparation for its descent into the mantle at a subduction zone...

 of the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone
Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone
The Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone is a convergent plate boundary which stretches from the North Island of New Zealand northward, and includes the Hikurangi Trough, the Kermadec Trench and the Tonga Trench...

. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

, where tectonic plates
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...

 in the Earth's lithosphere
Lithosphere
The lithosphere is the rigid outermost shell of a rocky planet. On Earth, it comprises the crust and the portion of the upper mantle that behaves elastically on time scales of thousands of years or greater.- Earth's lithosphere :...

 meet and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. The quake struck 11.2 miles (18 km) below the ocean floor and generated an onsetting tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 that killed more than 170 people in the Samoa Islands and Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

. 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.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DSCP) worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 (FEMA) to provide 16’ x 16’ humanitarian tents to the devastated areas of American Samoa.

Politics

Politics of American Samoa takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 dependency
Dependent territory
A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State, and remains politically outside of the controlling state's integral area....

, whereby the Governor is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, and of a pluriform multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory
Unorganized territory
An unorganized territory is a region of land without a "normally" constituted system of government. This does not mean that the territory has no government at all or that it is unclaimed territory...

 of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs
Office of Insular Affairs
The Office of Insular Affairs is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States possessions...

, U.S. Department of the Interior. Its constitution was ratified in 1966 and came into effect in 1967. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the governor. 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
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature.

There is also the traditional village politics of the 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 the protocols of the "fono" (council) and the chief system. The 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 "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 and independent 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 and independent Samoa.

One issue that has caused quite a bit of criticism was a decision approved by the "Constitution Convention", held locally. The decision was to allow only U.S Nationals with Samoan ancestry to be legislators.

Nationality

People born in American Samoa — including those born on Swains Island
Swains Island
Swains Island is an atoll in the Tokelau chain. Culturally a part of Tokelau, it is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States administered by American Samoa. Swains Island has also been known at various times as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa...

 — are American nationals, but are not American citizens unless one of their parents is a U.S. citizen. As U.S. nationals, American Samoans may not vote in U.S. presidential elections. However, American Samoans are entitled to free and unrestricted entry into the United States.

Samoans are entitled to elect one non-voting delegate
Delegate (United States Congress)
A delegate to Congress is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives who is elected from a U.S. territory and from Washington, D.C. to a two-year term. While unable to vote in the full House, a non-voting delegate may vote in a House committee of which the delegate is a member...

 to the United States House of Representatives. Their delegate since 1989 has been Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr.
Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr.
Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr. is the non-voting Delegate to the United States House of Representatives from American Samoa's At-large congressional district.-Personal life:...

  They also send delegates to the Democratic
Democratic National Convention
The Democratic National Convention is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention...

 and Republican
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

 National Conventions.

Administrative divisions

American Samoa is administratively divided into three district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

s - Eastern District
Eastern District, American Samoa
The Eastern District is one of the primary divisions of American Samoa. It consists of the eastern portion of Tutuila, American Samoa's largest island, plus the island of Aunu'u. The district has a land area of 67.027 km² and a 2000 census population of 23,441. It contains 34 villages plus a...

, Western District
Western District, American Samoa
The Western District is one of the primary divisions of American Samoa. It consists of the western portion of Tutuila Island. It has a land area of 74.781 km² and contains 29 villages plus a part of Nu'uuli village. Among these is the largest village of American Samoa, Tafuna, at its eastern end...

, and Manu'a District
Manu'a District, American Samoa
The Manu'a District is one of the three, primary administrative divisions of American Samoa. The district comprises the Manu'a Islands, which are located approximately 61 miles east of the main island, Tutuila.-District Divisions:...

 - and two "unorganized" atolls, Swains Island
Swains Island
Swains Island is an atoll in the Tokelau chain. Culturally a part of Tokelau, it is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States administered by American Samoa. Swains Island has also been known at various times as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa...

 and the uninhabited Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll, sometimes called Rose Island or Motu O Manu by people of the nearby Manu'a Islands, is an oceanic atoll within the U.S. territory of American Samoa. It is an uninhabited wildlife refuge. It is the southernmost point in the United States. The land area is 0.214 km²...

. The districts and unorganized atolls are subdivided into 74 villages. Pago Pago—the capital of American Samoa – is one of the largest villages and is located on the eastern side of Tutuila island in Ma'oputasi County district #9. Fagatogo is listed in the Constitution of American Samoa as the official seat of government, but it is not the capital.

Geography

American Samoa, located within the geographical region of Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, is one of only two possessions of the United States in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

, the other being Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island
Jarvis Island is an uninhabited 4.5 square kilometer coral island located in the South Pacific Ocean at , about halfway between Hawaii and the Cook Islands...

. Its total land area is 76.1 square miles (197.1 km²) – slightly larger than Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 – consisting of five rugged, volcanic islands and two coral atolls. The five volcanic islands are: Tutuila
Tutuila
Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly northeast of Brisbane, Australia and over northeast of Fiji. It contains a large, natural harbor,...

, Aunu'u
Aunu'u
Aunu'u is a small volcanic island off the southeastern shore of Tutuila in American Samoa. It has a land area of and a 2000 census population of 476 persons. Politically it is a part of the Eastern District, one of the primary divisions of American Samoa....

, Ofu
Ofu-Olosega
Ofu and Olosega are parts of a volcanic doublet in the Manu‘a Group of the Samoan Islands—part of American Samoa. The twin islands, formed from shield volcanoes, have a combined length of 6km. They are geographic volcanic remnants separated by the narrow 137m wide Asaga strait, a natural...

, Olosega
Ofu-Olosega
Ofu and Olosega are parts of a volcanic doublet in the Manu‘a Group of the Samoan Islands—part of American Samoa. The twin islands, formed from shield volcanoes, have a combined length of 6km. They are geographic volcanic remnants separated by the narrow 137m wide Asaga strait, a natural...

, Tau
Tau, American Samoa
Ta‘ū is the largest island in the Manu‘a Group and the easternmost volcanic island of the Samoan Islands. Ta‘ū is part of American Samoa. In the early 19th century, the island was sometimes called Opoun....

. The coral atolls are: Swains
Swains Island
Swains Island is an atoll in the Tokelau chain. Culturally a part of Tokelau, it is an unincorporated unorganized territory of the United States administered by American Samoa. Swains Island has also been known at various times as Olosenga Island, Olohega Island, Quiros Island, Gente Hermosa...

, and Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll
Rose Atoll, sometimes called Rose Island or Motu O Manu by people of the nearby Manu'a Islands, is an oceanic atoll within the U.S. territory of American Samoa. It is an uninhabited wildlife refuge. It is the southernmost point in the United States. The land area is 0.214 km²...

. Of the seven islands, Rose Atoll is an uninhabited Marine National Monument.

Due to its positioning in the South Pacific Ocean, it is frequently hit by tropical cyclones between November and April. Rose Atoll is the easternmost point of the territory. American Samoa is the southernmost part of the United States. American Samoa is home to the National Park of American Samoa
National Park of American Samoa
The National Park of American Samoa is a national park on the American territory of American Samoa, distributed across three separate islands: Tutuila, Ofu-Olosega, and Ta‘ū. The park includes coral reefs and rain forest and is popular for hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving, although the primary...

.

Official protest to naming of neighboring Samoa

The United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 Background Note web page for neighboring Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 notes that "in July 1997 the Constitution was amended to change the country's name from Western Samoa to Samoa (officially the "Independent State of Samoa"). Western Samoa had been known simply as Samoa in the United Nations since joining the organization in 1976. The neighboring U.S. territory of American Samoa protested the move, feeling that the change diminished its own Samoan identity. American Samoans still use the terms Western Samoa and Western Samoans."

Vailulu'u Seamount

The Vailulu'u Seamount
Vailulu'u
Vailulu'u is a volcanic seamount discovered by geophysicist Rockne Johnson in the Samoa Islands on October 18, 1975. The finding of an active, undersea, hotspot volcano is significant for scientists studying the Earth's fundamental processess...

, an active submerged volcano, lies 28 miles (45 km) east of Ta'u 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. Growing inside the summit crater of Va'ilulu'u is an active underwater volcanic cone
Volcanic cone
Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic formations. They are built by ejecta from a volcanic vent, piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption...

, named after Samoa's goddess of war, Nafanua
Nafanua
Nafanua is the name of the revered Goddess of War in Samoa and a deity in Polynesian Mythology.According to Samoan mythology, Nafanua was the daughter of Saveasi'uleo, the God of Pulotu, Samoa's spirit world. In one legend, Nafanua's mother was Tilafaiga the sister of Taema.-Background:Nafanua is a...

.

Economy

Employment on the island falls into three relatively equal-sized categories of approximately 5,000 workers each: the public sector, the single remaining tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

 cannery, and the rest of the private sector.

There are only a few federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 employees in American Samoa and no active duty
Active duty
Active duty refers to a full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty.-Pakistan:The Pakistan Armed Forces are one of the largest active service forces in the world with almost 610,000 full time personnel due to the complex and volatile nature of Pakistan's...

 military personnel except members of the U.S. Coast Guard, although there is an Army Reserve
United States Army Reserve
The United States Army Reserve is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the reserve components of the United States Army....

 unit. There is also a U.S. Army recruiting station in Utulai.

The overwhelming majority of public sector employees work for the American Samoa territorial government. The one tuna cannery, StarKist, exports several hundred million dollars worth of canned tuna to the United States each year. The other tuna cannery, Samoa Packing, a Chicken of the Sea subsidiary, closed in 2009 due to American Samoans being granted minimum wage. In early 2007 the Samoan economy was highlighted in the Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 as it was not mentioned in the minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 bill, at the request of the Samoan delegate to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, Eni Faleomavaega.

From 2002 to 2007, real GDP of American 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 during this period.
Summary Statistics for American Samoa
Key Areas 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2002-2007 AAGR (1)
GDP (millions of dollars) 536 527 553 550 548 532 -0.1%
Real GDP (millions of chained 2005 dollars) 527 535 539 550 534 537 0.4%
Population (2) 60,800 62,600 64,100 65,500 66,900 68,200 2.3%
Real GDP per capita (chained 2005 dollars) 8,668 8,546 8,409 8,397 7,982 7,874 -1.9%


1. Average annual growth rate. 2. Source: 2008 American Samoa Statistical Yearbook.

From 2002 to 2007, the population of American 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.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is a federal statute of the United States. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute...

 has, since inception, contained special provisions for American Samoa, citing its limited economy. American Samoa wages are based on the recommendations of a Special Industry Committee meeting bi-annually. Originally, the Act contained provisions for other territories, provisions which were phased out as those territories developed more diverse economies.

In 2007, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 is a US Act of Congress that amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to gradually raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. It was signed into law on May 25, 2007 as part of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina...

 was passed, increasing minimum wage in American Samoa by 50¢ per hour in 2007 and another 50¢ per hour each year thereafter until the minimum wage in American Samoa equals the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in the United States. In response to the minimum wage increase, one of the two major tuna canning plants in American Samoa, Chicken of the Sea
Chicken of the Sea
Chicken of the Sea is a brand of canned tuna produced by a company owned by Thai Union Group.-Company:Based in San Diego, California, the company markets a variety of other seafood items under the Chicken of the Sea brand name, including clam, crab, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna...

, was shut down in 2009 and 2,041 employees were laid off in the process. The other major tuna canning plant in American Samoa, StarKist, 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. American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono has suggested that, rather than laying off minimum wage workers, the companies could reduce salaries and bonuses of top-tier employees.

The Unemployment rate was 29.8% (2005), but has been improved to 23.8% as of (2010). Samoa GDP is $575.3 million and its GDP - per capita (PPP) is $8,000 (2007). American Samoa economy is generally better than that of its neighbors like Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 where American Samoa GDP - per capita (PPP) is more than twice as good as Samoa's.

Transportation

American Samoa has a total of 241 km of highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

s (estimated in 2008). Ports and harbor
Harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

s include Aunu‘u, Auasi, Faleāsao, Ofu
Ofu
Ofu may refer to*Ofu , an island and its village in Vava'u in Tonga*Ofu-Olosega, an island in the Manu'a group in American Samoa*Ofu, Nigeria, a town and Local Government Area in Kogi State...

 and Pago Pago. American Samoa has no railways. The country has three airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s, all of which have paved runways. The main airport is Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport
Pago Pago International Airport , also referred to as Tafuna Airport , Tafuna Airfield, Tafuna Airbase or Pago Pago International with airport designation PPG is a public airport located seven miles southwest of the central business district of Pago Pago, in the village and plains of Tafuna on...

. Per a 1999 estimate, there are no merchant marines in American Samoa.

Demographics

The population of American Samoa stands at about 65,000 people, 95% of whom live on the largest island, Tutuila
Tutuila
Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly northeast of Brisbane, Australia and over northeast of Fiji. It contains a large, natural harbor,...

.

Of the population, 91.6 percent are native Samoans
Samoans
The Samoan people are a Polynesian ethnic group of the Samoan Islands, sharing genetics, language, history and culture. Due to colonialism, the home islands are politically and geographically divided between the country of Samoa, official name Independent State of Samoa ; and American Samoa, an...

, 2.8% are Asian, 1.1% are Caucasian, 4.2% are Mixed, and 0.3% are of other origin. Samoan, a language closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages, is spoken by 90.6 percent of the people, while 2.9% speak English, 2.4% speak Tongan, 2.1% speak other languages, and 2% speak other Pacific islander languages, with most people being bilingual. American Samoa is largely Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 (50% Christian Congregationalist, 20% Roman Catholic, 30% Protestant and other).

American Samoa is small enough to have just one ZIP code
ZIP Code
ZIP codes are a system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service since 1963. The term ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan, is properly written in capital letters and was chosen to suggest that the mail travels more efficiently, and therefore more quickly, when senders use the...

, 96799, and uses the U.S. Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 (state code "AS") for mail delivery.
The island contains 23 primary schools and six secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s, all of which are operated by the American Samoa Department of Education
American Samoa Department of Education
American Samoa Department of Education operates public schools in American Samoa, an insular area of the United States.-Secondary schools:* Fagaitua High School * Leone High School* Manu'a High School* Nu'uli Polytechnic High School * Samoana High School...

. American Samoa Community College
American Samoa Community College
American Samoa Community College is a two-year WASC college located in the village of Mapusaga, on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa, an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States of America...

, founded in 1970, provides post-secondary education on the islands.

Culture

The ethnic culture of American Samoa is almost the same as the ethnic culture of Western Samoa (Upolu). The U.S. sovereignty distinguishes the civilization of American Samoa from the sovereign Samoa.

Religion

According to the World Christian Database, the population of American Samoa is 98.3% Christian, 0.7% agnostic, 0.3% Chinese Universalist, 0.3% Buddhist and 0.3% Baha'i.

, the CIA Factbook showed the religious affiliations of American Samoa as Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%.

, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website reports membership in 1990 was 7,500, increasing to about 12,000 in 1994, which is about one in four American Samoans.

Sports

The main sports played in American Samoa are Samoan cricket, baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, soccer, and American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

. In Samoan villages, volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 is also popular.

American football

About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, and more than 200 play NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 Division I college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

. In recent years, it has been estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the 50 United States) is anywhere from 40 to 56 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American. Nine-time All-Pro
All-Pro
All-Pro is a term mostly used in the NFL for the best players of each position during that season. It began as polls of sportswriters in the early 1920s...

 Junior Seau
Junior Seau
Tiaina Baul "Junior" Seau is a former American football linebacker. He was drafted fifth overall by the San Diego Chargers during the 1990 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Southern California and was the progenitor of the "NFL-USC linebacker".A ten-time All-Pro and...

 is one of the most famous Samoans ever to play in the NFL, having been elected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
The NFL 1990s All-Decade Team was chosen by voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team was composed of outstanding performers in the National Football League in the 1990s....

. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

 safety Troy Polamalu
Troy Polamalu
Troy Aumua Polamalu is an American football strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. He was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He played college football at the University of Southern California.-High school:Troy Polamalu graduated...

, though born and raised in the mainland U.S., is perhaps the most famous Samoan currently 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
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

January 17, 2010.

Rugby League

The American Samoan national Rugby League team
American Samoa national rugby league team
The American Samoa national rugby league team represents American Samoa at rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 1988.-Competitions:American Samoa has participated in:*Pacific Cup...

 represents the country in international Rugby League
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

. The team has competed in the 1988, 1992, 1998 & 2004 pacific cup competition. The team has also competed in the 2003 and 2004 world sevens
Rugby League World Sevens
The Rugby League World Sevens, usually referred to as the World Sevens and sometimes as the World Cup Sevens, were a pre-season rugby league sevens tournament made up over the years primarily of New South Wales Rugby League , Australian Rugby League and mostly recently National Rugby League ...

 qualifiers in the 2005 World sevens
Rugby League World Sevens
The Rugby League World Sevens, usually referred to as the World Sevens and sometimes as the World Cup Sevens, were a pre-season rugby league sevens tournament made up over the years primarily of New South Wales Rugby League , Australian Rugby League and mostly recently National Rugby League ...

. America Samoa's first match in international Rugby League was in 1988 pacific cup against Tonga
Tonga national rugby league team
The Tonga national rugby league team is a national sporting side, representing Tonga in rugby league football. Rugby league is a popular sport in Tonga, and the national team has become one of the best performed nations in the world...

, Tonga
Tonga national rugby league team
The Tonga national rugby league team is a national sporting side, representing Tonga in rugby league football. Rugby league is a popular sport in Tonga, and the national team has become one of the best performed nations in the world...

 won the match 38-14 which is still the biggest lost by a American Samoan side. American Samoa's biggest win was in 2004 against New Caledonia with the score ending at 62-6.

American Samoa get broadcast of the National Rugby League
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

 in Australia on free-to-air television.

There is also a new movement which aims to set up a four team domestic competition in American Samoa.

Professional wrestling

A number of American Samoan athletes have been very visible in boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

, wrestling
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

 (see especially Anoa'i family
Anoa'i family
The Anoa'i family, originating from American Samoa, is a family of professional wrestlers. Family members have comprised several tag teams and stables within a variety of promotions.-Family members:...

). World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

 has employed many members from the Anoa'i family, most famously Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Also in professional wrestling, a wrestler called Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe
Nuufolau Joel "Joe" Seanoa is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Samoa Joe. He is currently under contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling....

 competes in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett. The company broadcasts its events on television and the Internet fifty two weeks a year with over a million weekly viewers on its primary television program, Impact...

.

Sumo wrestling

Some Samoan Sumo
Sumo
is a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally...

 wrestlers, most famously Musashimaru and Konishiki have reached the highest rank of Ozeki and yokozuna. Despite the relatively small population of the islands many Samoans and people of Samoan descent have reached high ranks in many professional sports leagues.

Soccer

American Samoa's national soccer team
American Samoa national soccer team
The American Samoa national association football team represents American Samoa in association football and is controlled by the Football Federation American Samoa, the governing body for football in American Samoa. American Samoa's home ground is Veterans Memorial Stadium in Pago Pago and their...

 is one of the newest teams in the world, and is also noted for being the world's weakest. They lost to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 31–0 in a FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 qualifying match on April 11, 2001, but on 22 November 2011 they finally won their first ever game, beating Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 2-1 in a FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 qualifier. The appearance of American Samoa's Jonny Saelua in the contest "apparently became the first transgender player to compete on a World Cup stage."

Track and field

Track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

 is not a popular sport in American Samoa, but it hit the limelight when they sent a 130kg sprinter, (Sogelau Tuvalu) to compete in the men's 100m of the IAAF World Championships
IAAF World Championships
IAAF World Championships may refer to any of the World Championship events organized by the IAAF:* IAAF World Championships in Athletics* IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics* IAAF World Cross Country Championships...

 at Daegu, South Korea, in August 2011. The 17-year-old finished last in his preliminary rounds but clocked a personal best 15.66 seconds despite running into a headwind of -0.9, surprisingly not the slowest time in the world championships history as the time is faster than 21.73 seconds set in 1997 by an injured Kim Collins
Kim Collins
Kim Collins is a track and field sprinter from the Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. In 2003, he became the World Champion in the 100 m. He represented his country at the Summer Olympics on four occasions, from 1996 to 2008, and was the country's first athlete to ever reach an event...

 who became the world champion six years later.. Tuvalu was actually a shot putter but did not qualify for the shotput event so instead competed in the 100m. He was said to have trained for 4 months for the 100m, though did not wear spikes, and instead wore shot putters smooth bottom shoes.

See also

  • List of National Register of Historic Places in American Samoa


  • Pacific Ocean
    Pacific Ocean
    The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

  • Polynesia
    Polynesia
    Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

  • Samoan Islands
    Samoan Islands
    The Samoan Islands or Samoa Islands is an archipelago covering in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania...

  • Territories of the United States


External links


Country data

  • American Samoa national profile from the Association of Religion Data Archives
    Association of religion data archives
    The Association of Religion Data Archives is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK