December 30th, 2011 Will Not Happen In Regular Samoa

Regular Samoa — that is, not American Samoa — is switching to the other side of the International Date Line for business reasons. The line crosses just to the west of Samoa, which means that it’s almost a full day behind New Zealand, Australia and other nearby countries. Changing the imaginary line to cross to the east will mean that the time difference between it and its important trading partners will be just a couple of hours. All of this is taking place at the end of December 29th, which will be followed by December 31st. So, nothing will have happened in Samoa on December 30th. No news stories, no births, deaths, marriages — nothing.


Nu'ulopa island, Samoa


American Samoa, the southernmost territory of the United States, is sticking with the American side of the date line for now. The reason there are two Samoas goes back to 1899, when the Americans and Germans split the island group between each other. After the Germans lost World War I, New Zealand took care of German Samoa, which became known as Western Samoa, under a trusteeship from the League of Nations. It did so until 1962 when Western Samoa became the first independent Pacific nation, and changed its name to just ‘Samoa’.

Ancient Samoans are the ones who most likely settled Hawaii, whether directly, or from other Pacific Island nations like the Marquesas or Tahiti.

From NPR

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