Notable figures in Samoan history included the Tui Manu'a line and Queen Salamasina (15th century).
Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century.
Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman, was the first known European to sight the Samoan islands in 1722.
1725, 1902, 1905, 1911
While all of the islands have volcanic origins, only Savai'i, the westernmost Island in Samoa, remains volcanically active, with the most recent eruptions in Mt Matavanu (1905–1911), Mata o le Afi (1902) and Mauga Afi (1725).
This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768.
=== Samoa in the 1800s ===
Samoa in years
Contact was limited before the 1830s, which is when English missionaries and traders began arriving.
Christian missionary work in Samoa began in 1830 when John Williams of the London Missionary Society arrived in Sapapali'i from the Cook Islands and Tahiti.
West, "The Samoans were also known to engage in ‘headhunting', a ritual of war in which a warrior took the head of his slain opponent to give to his leader, thus proving his bravery." However, Robert Louis Stevenson, who lived in Samoa from 1889 until his death in 1894, wrote in A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, "… the Samoans are gentle people."
The Samoan crisis came to a critical juncture in March 1889 when all three colonial contenders sent warships into Apia harbour, and a larger-scale war seemed imminent.
15 March 1889
A massive storm on 15 March 1889 damaged or destroyed the warships, ending the military conflict.
Samoa in decades
4 July 1892
The previous time zone, implemented on 4 July 1892, operated in line with American traders based in California.
The Second Samoan Civil War reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States were locked in dispute over who should control the Samoa Islands.
2 December 1899, 16 February 1900
Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States quickly resolved to end the hostilities and divided the island chain at the Tripartite Convention of 1899, signed at Washington on 2 December 1899 with ratifications exchanged on 16 February 1900.
The Siege of Apia occurred in March 1899.
15 March 1899
American and British warships shelled Apia on 15 March 1899, including the USS Philadelphia.
Samoa in centuries
The entire island group, which includes American Samoa, was called "Navigator Islands" by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills.
The eastern island-group became a territory of the United States (the Tutuila Islands in 1900 and officially Manu'a in 1904) and was known as American Samoa.
=== German Samoa (1900–1914) ===
The German Empire governed the western Samoan islands from 1900 to 1914.
The second major incident arose out of an initially peaceful protest by the Mau (which literally translates as "strongly held opinion"), a non-violent popular movement which had its beginnings in the early 1900s on Savai'i, led by Lauaki Namulauulu Mamoe, an orator chief deposed by Solf.
Sugarcane production, originally established by Germans in the early 20th century, could be successful.
In 1908, when the non-violent Mau a Pule resistance movement arose, Solf did not hesitate to banish the Mau leader Lauaki Namulau'ulu Mamoe to Saipan in the German Northern Mariana Islands.
In 1909, Lauaki was exiled to Saipan and died en route back to Samoa in 1915.
=== New Zealand rule (1914–1962) ===
29 August 1914
In the first month of World War I, on 29 August 1914, troops of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed unopposed on Upolu and seized control from the German authorities, following a request by Great Britain for New Zealand to perform this "great and urgent imperial service."
In the first incident, approximately one fifth of the Samoan Population died in the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919.
By 1918, Samoa had a population of some 38,000 Samoans and 1,500 Europeans.
1918, 1929, 2002
In 2002, New Zealand's prime minister Helen Clark formally apologised for New Zealand's role in the events of 1918 and 1929.
7 November 1918, 1919
In 1919, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Epidemic concluded that there had been no epidemic of pneumonic influenza in Western Samoa before the arrival of the SS Talune from Auckland on 7 November 1918.
Between 1919 and 1962, Samoa was administered by the Department of External Affairs, a government department which had been specially created to oversee New Zealand's Island Territories and Samoa.
By the late 1920s the resistance movement against colonial rule had gathered widespread support.
1920, 1929, 1930, 1939
Nelson was eventually exiled during the late 1920s and early 1930s, but he continued to assist the organisation financially and politically.
Prominent women in Samoan politics include the late Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa (1928–2007) from Lotofaga constituency, the wife of Samoa's first prime minister.
28 December 1929
In accordance with the Mau's non-violent philosophy, the newly elected leader, High Chief Tupua Tamasese Lealofi, led his fellow uniformed Mau in a peaceful demonstration in downtown Apia on 28 December 1929.
In 1943, this Department was renamed the Department of Island Territories after a separate Department of External Affairs was created to conduct New Zealand's foreign affairs.
The 1960 constitution, which formally came into force with independence from New Zealand in 1962, builds on the British pattern of parliamentary democracy, modified to take account of Samoan customs.
24 November 1961, 1 January 1962
After repeated efforts by the Samoan independence movement, the New Zealand Western Samoa Act 1961 of 24 November 1961 granted Samoa independence, effective on 1 January 1962, upon which the Trusteeship Agreement terminated.
From the end of World War I until 1962, New Zealand controlled Samoa as a Class C Mandate under trusteeship through the League of Nations, then through the United Nations.
=== Independence (1962) ===
11 May 2007, 1963
Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole died in 1963, leaving Malietoa Tanumafili II sole head of state until his death on 11 May 2007, upon which Samoa changed from a constitutional monarchy to a parliamentary republic de facto.
Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa (Samoan: Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; Samoan: Sāmoa, IPA: [ˈsaːmoa]) and, until 4 July 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a country consisting of two main islands Savai'i and Upolu with four smaller islands surrounding the landmasses.
4 July 1997
On 4 July 1997 the government amended the constitution to change the country's name from Western Samoa to Samoa.
King Kapisi was the first hip hop artist to receive the prestigious New Zealand APRA Silver Scroll Award in 1999 for his song Reverse Resistance.
A 2002 article from ESPN estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan or a Samoan living in the mainland United States) is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American.
At the 2003 world cup, Manu Samoa came close to beating eventual world champions, England.
Her first book of poetry Wild Dogs Under My Skirt was published by Victoria University Press in 2004.
The sector has been helped enormously by major capital investment in hotel infrastructure, political instability in neighbouring Pacific countries, and the 2005 launch of Virgin Samoa a joint-venture between the government and Virgin Australia (then Virgin Blue).
The Head of State until 2007, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II, was a Bahá'í.
They also took home the cup at Wellington and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in 2007—for which the Prime Minister of Samoa, also Chairman of the national rugby union, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, declared a national holiday.
17 June 2007, July 2012
The next Head of State, Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, was elected by the legislature on 17 June 2007 for a fixed five-year term, and was re-elected unopposed in July 2012.
Her first feature film Apron Strings opened the 2008 NZ International Film Festival.
7 September 2009
On 7 September 2009, the government changed the driving orientation for motorists: Samoans now drive on the left side of the road like in most other Commonwealth countries.
They were also the IRB World Sevens Series Champions in 2010 capping a year of achievement for the Samoans, following wins in the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Scotland Sevens tournaments.
Samoans' religious adherence includes the following: Christian Congregational Church of Samoa 31.8%, Roman Catholic 19.4%, Methodist 15.2%, Assembly of God 13.7%, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 7.6%, Seventh-day Adventist 3.9%, Worship Centre 1.7%, other Christian 5.5%, other 0.7%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 estimate).
The 2011 film The Orator was the first ever fully Samoan film, shot in Samoa in the Samoan language with a Samoan cast telling a uniquely Samoan story.
The United Nations has classified Samoa as an economically developing country since 2014.
Samoa reported a population of 194,320 in its 2016 census.
Tufuga Efi was succeeded by Va'aletoa Sualauvi II in 2017.
In 2017, Samoa's gross domestic product in purchasing power parity was estimated to be $1.13 billion U.
To emphasize the importance of full inclusion with sign language, elementary Samoan Sign Language was taught to members of the Samoa Police Service, Red Cross Society, and public during the 2017 International Week of the Deaf.
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