Why is it called that?
When the Samoan Islands were partitioned, according to the provisions of the Tripartite Convention in 1899, the United States acquired the eastern islands, while Germany took control of 'Upolu, Savai'i, Manono and Apolima, whose total area is 1,120 square miles. These islands now comprise the Independent State of Western Samoa, which New Zealand forces wrested from the Germans in 1914, who had been maintaining control of them until 1962.
Under U.S. Navy control from 1900 to 1951, American Samoa was initially a coaling station for the fleet in the Age of Steam. During World War II, the "U.S. Naval Station Tutuila", now a Historic District listed on the National Register, was the headquarters of the Samoan Defense Group, which included several adjacent island groups, and was the largest of the Pacific defense groups.
The seven American Samoan islands are dispersed over 150 miles of water.The total land area is 76 square miles. Tutuila, the largest of the seven islands, has a land area of approximately 56 square miles and it is home to 90 percent of the total estimated population of 60,000 for 1997 and the site for all industrial development activities.
The remaining islands consist of Aunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, Ta'u, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island. The well-known Pago Pago harbor, located on the island of Tutuila, is one of the deepest and best protected in the South Pacific
Historic properties from World War II are found throughout the islands in the form of military facilities such as medical facilities, the Tafuna Air Base, the Marine Training facility in Leone, and pillboxes that dot the coastlines. In the postwar era, American Samoa's military importance continued to decline, and in 1951, the Territory was transferred to the Department of the Interior.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor head the Executive Branch. Before 1977, governors and lieutenant governors were appointed by Interior until November of 1977, when the people of American Samoa were granted the right to select their own governor and lieutenant governor.
In 1954 the Van Camp Seafood Co. of California opened a cannery on the eastern shore of Pago Bay, followed some years later by Starkist Inc. The canneries make significant contributions to the economy of American Samoa and employment opportunities draw people from Western Samoa.
The primary economy of American Samoa consists of the government and the two tuna fish canning operations. The account for 66% of the territories total employment.
Tourism development is approached with caution and is guided by one of the best economic alternatives to American Samoa's economic growth. The size of the American Samoa islands encourages specialized tourism development projects.American Samoa has been able to retain most of its rich Samoan-Polynesian culture and island life-style despite the tremendous western world influence. Samoans pride themselves on their tradition of warm hospitality, friendliness and island charm. The spectacular beauty of its lush green volcanic islands and unspoiled pristine village and coastal areas make it a most desirable place to live, work and do business
The long awaited phonebook. Many places have a telephone. There are limited modern conveniences for entertainment, such as there is only 1 FM radio station and only 1 AM radio station. And there seems to be satellite service but only 1 local television station. And the world wide web of the internet has also finally arrived there too.
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