American Samoa Facts
Lata Mountain (964 m) on Ta'u is the highest point on American Samoa.
American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the USA.
American Samoa consists of Tutuila, Aunu'u, the
Manu'a islands (Ofu, Olosega, Ta'u), Rose Atoll and Swains Island.
American Samoa is part of Polynesia.
Polynesia, which means many islands, is a name covering over a thousand islands between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna are also in this grouping.
Evidence suggests that American Samoa has been inhabited for around three thousand years.
Prehistoric sites such as Maloata and Fagatele Bay (Tutuila) and To'Aga (Ofu) have been found on the islands.
Jacob Roggeveen, the Dutch explorer, was the first European to visit the island of Tutuila (1722).
Louis de Bougainville, a French Admiral, visited Samoa in the late 1760s.
A'asu Valley (Tutuila), also known as Massacre Bay, is the place where twelve French sailors and a number of Samoans died during a fight in 1787.
Missionaries from the London Missionary Society introduced Christianity to Samoa in the 1830s.
Members of the United States Exploring Expedition arrived in the islands at the end of the 1830s.
The Americans gained control of the harbour of Pago Pago in the 1870s.
In 1899 a treaty allocated Western Samoa to Germany, and Eastern [American] Samoa to the United States.
Britain withdrew claims to the islands of Samoa in return for Tonga and the Solomon Islands.
[Western] Samoa consists of the islands of Upolu and Savaii and a number of smaller islands.
The village of Fagatogo was the headquarters of the US Naval Base Tutuila from 1900 to 1951. Naval buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
American Samoa suffers from cyclones. Cyclone Heta caused extensive damage in January 2004.
In September 2009 a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Pacific (8.3-magnitude) killed more than one hundred people in American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga.