American Samoa; formerly East Samoa, an unincorporated,
unorganized territory not included in the United States, in the
South Pacific. The main island (at the same time the largest in area
and population) is Tutuila, which is part of the Samoa archipelago.
As of July 2017, the population of American Samoa was 51,504. Area -
The borders of the territory are maritime: with the
Independent State of Samoa in the west, the kingdom of Tonga in the
southwest, the territories of New Zealand - Tokelau in the north,
Cook Islands in the east, Niue in the south. Land area - 199 km².
Population 55 519 (2010).
capital is Pago Pago (approx. 15 thousand inhabitants, 2001),
located on the largest island - Tutuila, administratively subdivided
into western and eastern (with Aunuu island) areas. The third
district is a group of Manua islands (Tau, Olosega and Ofu islands).
Of particular note are the island of Rose (uninhabited) and the
island of Swains (private ownership). The official languages are
English and Samoan. Official holidays - April 17, Flag Day (the
first raising of the US flag on the islands) and traditional US
holidays. Currency is the US dollar.
The islands were first inhabited around 1000 BC., presumably
during the migration from Southeast Asia, the next wave of
immigrants crowded out the previous inhabitants who settled on the
islands east of Samoa. Apparently, Samoan legends about islands as
the cradle of Polynesians and the special role of the island empire
of Manua in Polynesia before the arrival of Europeans are connected
In 1722, the Samoa archipelago was discovered by
the Dutchman Jacob Roggeven. In 1830, British missionaries settled
on the islands. In 1878, the United States entered into an agreement
with the Kingdom of Samoa on trade privileges and the right to use
one of the most convenient in the South Pacific Pago Pago Bay as a
parking lot for the fleet. In 1899, during the conflict between the
USA, Germany and Great Britain, Samoa was divided into western and
eastern parts, respectively, the German and American areas of
In 1900, the islands of Tutuila and Aunuu went to
the USA, in 1904 - the Manua group. In 1925, the island of Swains
was annexed to American Samoa, which until then was privately owned,
although remaining at the same time the territory of the United
States. German Samoa was transferred under the control of New
Zealand in 1920, from 1962 it turned into an independent state of
Western Samoa, in 1997 it was renamed Samoa). Until 1951, East Samoa
was controlled by the US Navy. In 1948, elements of self-government
were introduced. With the closure of the naval base in Pago Pago,
the territory was transferred under the control of the Ministry of
the Interior, who appointed governors for American Samoa.
1960, the first constitution of the territory was adopted. In 1977,
the first election of the governor took place. The main political
parties are Democratic and Republican.
Tsunami September 29,
2009 September 29, 2009 at 17:48:11 UTC, an earthquake of
magnitude 8.0 occurred 190 km off the coast of American Samoa. The
earthquake produced a tsunami. According to reports, 4 waves with a
height of 4.6 m to 6.1 m traveled 1.6 km to the coast of Tutuila
Island. At least 150 people died in American Samoa and an unknown
number in Western Samoa.