I got off the ship to walk around today with no intention of writing a blog as this place is tiny and we are way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean somewhere. But it is so peaceful here and I kept picking up so many interesting facts That I would like to share.
Pago Pago – It is pronounced Pango Pango.
Population – American Samoa a total population of 55,519 people.
Size – Slightly larger Washington D.C.
Location – American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States and one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator. We are roughly 2,500 miles Southwest of Hawaii (about the distance from Las Vegas to New York) and still 1,500 miles from Auckland, NZ.
Citizenship – American Samoa is the only major territory of the United States in which citizenship is not granted at birth, and people born there are considered “non-citizen nationals”.
Apollo Programs – American Samoa was the closest landing and rescue point for five Apollo program flights. Three moon rocks and with a flag carried to the moon are on display here.
Flu pandemic – During the 1918 flu pandemic, America Samoa was quarantined by its governor and therefore was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred.
Language – Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa. (I didn’t even know Samoa was different than American Samoa.)
Margaret Mead – Margaret Mead did her fieldwork here for her doctoral dissertation in anthropology at Columbia University, where she wrote her book Coming of Age in Samoa which was published in 1928, and at the time became the most widely read book in the field of anthropology.
Tuna – Starkist is by far the largest employer on the island with their tuna cannery that annually ships back hundreds of millions of dollars of canned tuna to the USA.
Pan Am – It probably is a statistical aberration. But Pan American Air had two deadly crashes here; 1938 and 1974.