Made in 1931, this travelogue of American Samoa shows the island nation as it appeared prior to WWII, before the peace of this tiny protectorate was destroyed. Predominantly shot on the island of Tutuila, the film features rare views of traditional native life including Copra harvesting.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa.
It consists of five main islands and two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory. American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group.
The total land area is 199 square kilometers (76.8 sq mi), slightly more than Washington, D.C. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the U.S. and one of two U.S. territories (with the uninhabited Jarvis Island) south of the Equator. Tuna products are the main exports, and the main trading partner is the United States.
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 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 after Britain vacated all claims to Samoa and accepted termination of German rights in Tonga 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 and the Anglo-German Agreement on Samoa of 1899.
The following year, the US formally occupied its portion: a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which surrounds the noted harbor of Pago Pago. After the United States Navy 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 under the command of a commandant. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa in 1904 on behalf of the US government. The last sovereign of Manuʻa, the Tui Manuʻa Elisala, signed a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa following a series of U.S. Naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu," in Pago Pago, Taʻu, and aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat. The territory became known as the US Naval Station Tutuila.
On July 17, 1911, the US Naval Station Tutuila, which was composed of Tutuila, Aunu'u and Manu'a, was officially renamed American Samoa.
During the 1918 flu pandemic, the 12th governor of American Samoa John Martin Poyer quarantined the territory. Because of his actions, American Samoa was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred.
Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring, independent Samoa.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com