(PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the high volume of content contained in the
 historical calendar, we will be publishing each month separately.)



 This calendar is dedicated to the teachers and schoolchildren of the Samoan Islands.






April 1:

On April 1, 1870, Captain William H. ("Bully") Hayes---blackbirder, buccaneer, slaver, thief and rascal---broke parole in Apia and sailed away on a ship owned by his friend, Captain Ben Pease. (Michener and Day 1960: 213)

On April 1, 1875, Albert Barnes Steinberger returned to Apia aboard USS Tuscarora, soon to assume his position as "Premier" of Samoa. (Gilson 1970: 310)

On April 1, 1899, Mauga Manuma of Pago Pago, co-signer (with Commander Richard W. Meade, USN) of the first American-Samoa treaty on March 2, 1872) died in Pago Pago. (Theroux 1985)

On April 1, 1900, twenty of Tutuila's highest chiefs wrote to Governor Benjamin F. Tilley, expressing their pleasure at being under the American flag, and promising to "obey all laws and statutes made by the government or those appointed by the government to legislate and govern." (Bryan 1927: 47)

On April 1, 1921, the "Samoa Act, 1921" was passed by the New Zealand Parliament. This act made minor amendments to the "Samoa Constitution Order" of 1920, and remained the basic law of the Territory of Western Samoa until independence was granted 41 years later. (Field 1984: 57)

On April 1, 1943, the U.S. Navy's Resident Officer in Charge, 'Upolu, requested new water purification units "to replace those which would be withdrawn by units then being moved from the area." The following equipment was required: "Two stationary units. Capacity 200,000 gallons per day each for use at installations at Magia Springs and Apia. One Stationary unit. Capacity 200,000 per day for use at Mulifanua water source. (Requisition 260)." (Burke 1945c: 44)

On April 1, 1944, the U.S. Navy's Mobile Hospital No. 3 ("MOB 3") left Tutuila. The Naval Station Dispensary then resumed responsibility for medical care. (Burke 1945b: 118)

On April 1, 1950, Western Samoa's Public Service Commission was created. (Davidson 1960: 212)

On April 1, 1954, the "District and Village Government Board Ordinance" became law in Western Samoa. The Board's members included Mata'ia Si'u, Va'ai Kolone, Tuluono Lama, Edmund Stehlin (Secretary) and Etene Sa'aga (Water Supply Officer). (Davidson 1967: 312)

April 2:

On April 2, 1824, Russian navigator Otto von Kotzebue sighted Rose Atoll, and named it "Kordinkoff Island" after his first mate. (Theroux 1985)

On April 2, 1900, the Marist Brothers' School opened at Leone, Tutuila. (Heslin 1995: v)

On April 2, 1909, Tui Manu'a Elisara died on Ta'u. Governor John F. Parker paid tribute to him by saying, "Tui Manu'a was the last of a line of kings in the Manu'a Group, his title being changed to District Governor from the date of the hoisting of the American flag in those islands. He was a devout Christian and a faithful supporter of government, and his keenly felt." (Gray 1960: 161-162)

On April 2, 1942, the first airplanes of Marine Air Group 13 (MAG-13) landed at American Samoa's Tafuna Air Base, "just as the airstrip was brought to a usable state. Few of the Marine pilots were experienced, and training conditions were difficult. Heat, bugs, mud and rain made even the construction of an adequate camp difficult. While attempting to train as aviators, the men of MAG-13 also put in time as infantry, each squadron functioning as one company of two platoons plus one .30 caliber machine gun platoon. The group was supported in these defensive efforts by a tank company, a heavy weapons platoon, a three-inch [gun] battery, and one section of the island's barrage balloon squadron." (Hudson 1994: 24; Sherrod 1952: 216-217)

On April 2, 1946, the second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) dropped anchor at Shanghai, China, and prepared for her return voyage to the United States. (Mooney VII, 1981: 367)

April 3:

On April 3, 1798, Charles Wilkes, future commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, was born in New York City. (Wilkes 1978: xvii)

On April 3, 1931, Colonel Stephen Shepard Allen ended his term as Administrator of Western Samoa, and left for New Zealand. The Women's Mau sent him this farewell note: "You depart from our country, leaving us with sorrowful hearts on the one hand, and rejoicing on the other. We grieve because it is not possible to erase from our minds, even unto our children, the many tragedies which have occurred in Samoa during your term of office. We rejoice because you are leaving our country. We shall remember your name when we think of our sufferings by day and night during the last two years." (Field 1984: 200)

On April 3, 1937, Pan American's Samoan Clipper, skippered by Captain Ed Musick, arrived in Pago Pago on her return voyage from Auckland to Honolulu. (Anonymous ca. 1937)

April 4:

On April 4, 1900, in Apia, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley finally received his orders (which were issued on March 12, 1900) designating him as Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. (Bryan 1927: 46)

On April 4, 1911, "The Navy Department....granted permission for the construction of a native hospital on United States Government land, on the hillside between the Naval Station and Pago Pago, without expense to the United States." (Bryan 1927: 73)

On April 4, 1914, Commander Clark Daniel Stearns, Governor of American Samoa, issued his "Regulation No. 10-1914: Cricket and Other Games," which amended Governor Charles B.T. Moore's "Regulation No. 1-1907," of the same title, issued January 7, 1907. (Noble 1931: 25)

On April 4, 1914, Commander Clark Daniel Stearns, Governor of American Samoa, issued his "Regulation No. 11-1914: Ineligibility for Matai Title or Office Because of Crime." (Noble 1931: 64-65)

On April 4, 1931, Commander James Sutherland Spore became American Samoa's 20th naval governor (acting) until April 22, 1931. (USNHC: Spore RO)

April 5:

On April 5, 1898, Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf was appointed as a District Judge in Dar-es-Salaam, capital of the colony of Tanganyika, German East Africa (until January 14, 1899), after which he became Imperial Governor of German Samoa. (Theroux 1983b: 54)

On April 5, 1925, Mr. Forrest J. Dollinger succeeded Mr. Lester H. Thornburg as Director of Education in American Samoa. (Bryan 1927: 89)

On April 5, 1963, Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole, Joint Head of State with Malietoa Tanumafili II since Western Samoa's independence on January 1, 1962, died of lung cancer in Western Samoa. (Eustis 1979: 161)

April 6:

On April 6, 1898, William Churchill III, former U.S. Consul in Apia and distinguished Polynesianist, was committed to an insane asylum in Charleston, South Carolina. (Theroux-Sorensen 02/23/94)

On April 6, 1925, Mr. Forrest J. Dollinger replaced Mr. Lester H. Thornburg as principal of the Poyer School in Anua, American Samoa. Bryan 1927: 89)

On April 6, 1942, Marine Air Group 13's dive bomber squadron, VMO-151, under the command of Major Thomas Green, embarked at Norfolk, Virginia in four ships "with its ancient SBC-4 [Curtiss Helldiver] biplanes." (Sherrod 1952: 48)

On April 6, 1942, the Utah Construction Company, with Marine Corps assistance, completed the first runway of the Tafuna Air Base. It was 2,500 feet long and 250 feet wide. (Anonymous 1947: 212)

April 7:

On April 7, 1879, George Bertram Landenberger, American Samoa's 21st naval governor (May 12, 1932-April 10, 1934), was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (USNHC: Landenberger RO)

On April 7, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, and the U.S. Navy seized the German ships Staatssekretär Solf and Elsass, which had enjoyed refuge in Pago Pago Harbor since August 6, 1914. There was no resistance. (Bryan 1927: 50)

On April 7, 1942, the United States began negotiations with General Charles De Gaulle, Chairman of the French National Committee ("Free French") to use Uvea in the Wallis Islands as a U.S. Naval Station, which would be part of the Samoan Defense Group. (Burke 1945a: 52)

On April 7, 1944, the Commander, Service Squadron, South Pacific Force gave the Commandant, Samoan Defense Group the authority to remove the anti-torpedo net in Apia Harbor. The net was lifted, but was not shipped until August 13, 1944. (Burke 1945c: 73)

On April 7, 1945, Lieutenant Commander C.S. Adams, Jr., USNR, relieved Lieutenant Richard J. Ludwig, USNR, as Island Commander, 'Upolu and Commander, Naval Advance Base, 'Upolu. (Burke 1945c: 95)

April 8:

On April 8, 1901, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, enacted his "Regulation No. 2-1901: Provisional Regulation Concerning Titles to Land." (Noble 1931: 58-59)

On April 8, 1928, Major General Sir George Spafford Richardson, after being cashiered by External Affairs Minister William Nosworthy, finished his term as Western Samoa's Administrator, and left Apia for New Zealand aboard the Union Steamship Company's vessel Tofua. (Field 1984: 123)

On April 8, 1936, New Zealand's newly elected Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage of the Labour Party, terminated Mau leader Olaf Nelson's exile, saying that, "We believe that the return of Mr. Nelson will be taken as evidence of our intention to secure the cooperation of all sections of the Samoan people, and we feel that Mr. Nelson will be able and willing to assist materially in this object." (Field 1984: 212-213)

On April 8, 1937, Pan American Airways' Samoan Clipper left Pago Pago for Honolulu on the last leg of her return flight from Auckland. (Anonymous ca. 1937)

On April 8, 1944, USS Tutuila (ARG-4; the second U.S. naval vessel to be named Tutuila), an internal combustion engine repair ship which had been converted from the liberty ship USS Arthur P. Gorman, was commissioned at Baltimore, Maryland. She was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company; her first skipper was Commander George T. Boldizsar. (Mooney VII, 1981: 367).

On April 8, 1946, The second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) weighed anchor at Shanghai, China, "transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New Orleans on 20 May." (Mooney VII, 1981: 368)

On April 8, 1973, James Wightman Davidson passed away in Papua New Guinea. After earning his Ph.D. at Cambridge University in 1942, Dr. Davidson edited the British Admiralty's four-volume The Pacific Islands geographical handbook, which was widely used by the Allied forces in World War II. In 1947, he was seconded to the Government of Western Samoa as a constitutional adviser, and in 1953 he founded the Department of Pacific History at the Australian National University in Canberra. "Pacific History," in Davidson's view, meant that the history of the Pacific Islands should be written from the viewpoint of the indigenous peoples, as well as the European colonizers. His best-known work is Samoa mo Samoa: The Emergence of the Independent State of Western Samoa, 1900-1962, which was published by Oxford University Press in 1967. (Warburton 1996: 21; Davidson 1967: passim)

April 9:

On April 9, 1872, the "chiefs and rulers of Samoa" signed a petition addressed to United States President Ulysses S. Grant "praying for the annexation of Samoa to the United States." (Morrell 1960: 214)

  On April 9, 1942, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest Joseph King, was notified that the light indicator net in Pago Pago Harbor was deteriorating rapidly. He proposed replacing it with a heavy indicator net. (Burke 1945b: 137)

April 10:

On April 10, 1919, the German silver money which was shipped to the DHPG's (Deutsche Handels und Plantagens Gesellschaft [German Commercial Agricultural Company's]) Pago Pago office on board the Staatssekretär Solf (State-Secretary Solf) on August 5, 1914 was discovered buried in the rear of the building formerly owned by the DHPG by the Sheriff of American Samoa, Lieutenant Commander L.W. Strum, USN. Most of the money, which was wrapped in canvas bags, and then enclosed in terra cotta drainpipes cemented together to form a triangle, was missing. The remaining coins were shipped to the Navy's Alien Property Custodian in Washington, D.C. (Bryan 1927: 52)

On April 10, 1934, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Calloway Latimore relieved Captain George Bertram Landenberger and became American Samoa's 22nd naval governor (acting: until April 17, 1934). (USNHC: Latimore RO)

April 11:

On April 11, 1877, French Marist Bishop Pierre Bataillon, Vicar Apostolic of Central Oceania and the Navigators passed away, and was succeeded by Bishop Louis Elloy. (Heslin 1995: iv)

On April 11, 1890, Robert Louis Stevenson and his party left Apia for Auckland and Sydney "aboard the black, grimy unstable six-hundred ton Janet Nicholl." (Bell 1993: 244)

On April 11, 1900, Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, Governor of German Samoa, delivered a speech to an assembly of the leading chiefs. He assured them that the German Government's intention was "to respect your old traditions as far as these are not against the laws of Christianity and against the welfare and security of the individuals." [sic]  (Hempenstall 1978: 34)

On April 11, 1904, the "first public school, Fagatogo" was opened in American Samoa, "with two teachers and 40 pupils, between the ages of 6 and 12. Mrs. Trevorrow, wife of Warrant Machinist Trevorrow, was the principal. The natives showed prejudice against a woman teacher for boys." (Bryan 1927: 82)

On April 11, 1915, Gustav Frederick Dertlag "Gus" Betham, also known as Fereti Misipita, was born in Western Samoa. Mr. Betham had a long and distinguished public career, which included membership on the Legislative Council (1948) and the Legislative Assembly (1949-1971). He served as Minister of Finance from 1961 to 1969, Secretary-General of the South Pacific Commission (1971-1975), and later as Western Samoa's High Commissioner to New Zealand. He was also a golf and tennis champion. (Warburton 1996: 12)

On April 11, 1941, in American Samoa, the measles quarantine, which began a month before, was lifted, thus enabling the Marine Corps' 7th Defense Battalion to move from its holding area at the Naval Station to Camp Samuel Nicholas in Faga'alu. (Denfeld 1989a: 18)

On April 11, 1944, all of Tutuila's Naval Station stores were reported as having soda fountain facilities. (Bryan 1945b: 143)

April 12:

On April 12, 1942, the doctors and corpsmen of the U.S. Navy's Mobile Hospital No. 3 ("MOB 3") departed San Diego for Tutuila. (Parsons 1945: 46)

April 13:

On April 13, 1973, the "Massacre Bay" Historic Site at A'asu, American Samoa, where 11 of French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse's crew were killed on December 11, 1787, was entered on the National Register of Historic Places. (Apple 1971a)

April 14:

On April 14, 1936, Captain Waldo Evans, American Samoa's 13th naval governor (November 11, 1920-March 1, 1922), died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Des Moines, Iowa. (USNHC: Evans RO)

On April 14, 1946, American Samoa's 25th naval governor, Captain Otto Carl Dowling (April 17, 1934-January 15, 1936), died of a coronary occlusion in Fairfield, Connecticut. (USNHC: Dowling RO)

April 15:

On April 15, 1914, American Samoa's ninth naval governor, Commander Clark Daniel Stearns, established a system of advisory boards and committees "to work closer with the Samoan people for mutual cooperation in the administration of the government." These committees, with Samoan members, were: "Committee A: Executive Committee, consisting of District Governors; Committee B: Committee of the Samoan Hospital, with three members from each district, and Committee C: Auditing Committee, to give fullest publicity to the statement of government accounts." (Darden n.d.: 8)

On April 15, 1942, mine laying operations in the approaches to Pago Pago Harbor ceased, after USS Ontario, USS Kingfisher, USS Swan and USS Turkey laid a total of 400 mines in six fields, which were in the following locations: "Field 'A': South of Cape Fagauso [Fogausa]; Field 'B': In vicinity of Taema Bank; Field 'C': West of Leone Point; Field 'D': South of Cape Taputapu; Field 'E': West of Southworth Point; Field 'F': Off Ofono [Afono] Bay."  (Burke 1945b: 44-45)

April 16:

On April 16, 1915, a temporary branch dispensary was started in Ta'u, Manu'a, in a building owned by the Manu'a Cooperative Company. (Bryan 1927: 76)

On April 16, 1997, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt dedicated the National Park of American Samoa (NPAS), in ceremonies held at Vatia. The ceremonies were attended by Governor Tauese P.F. Sunia, Lieutenant Governor Togiola T.A. Tulafono and other cabinet members, and by Western Samoa's Head of State, His Highness Malietoa Tanumafili II. The National Park Service was represented by Western Regional Director Stanley Albright, Pacific Ocean Area Director Bryan Harry, NPAS Superintendent Christopher Stein and Chief Ranger Leota Vaea Ainu'u. (Samoa News, 04/18/97)

April 17:

On April 17, 1900, the Deed of Cession, drafted by Secretary of Native Affairs Edwin W. Gurr, was signed by the following chiefs of Tutuila, American Samoa: "Mauga of Pagopago; Leiato of Fagaitua; Faumuina of Aunuu; Pere [sic] of Laulii; Masani of Vatia; Tupuola of Fagasa; Soliai of Nuuuli; Mauga (2) of Pagopago: THE SUA AND THE VAIFANUA [Eastern District]; FOFO AND AITULAGI [Western District]; Tuitele of Leone; Faiivae of Leone; Letuli of Iliili; Fuimaono of Vailoa; Satele of Vailoa; Leoso of Leone; Olo of Leone; Namoa of Malaeola [sic]; Malota of Malaeloa; Tunaitaui [sic] of Pavaiai; Lulemana [sic] of Asu [sic], and Amituanai of Ituau." (Gray 1960: 112-117)

On April 17, 1900, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 10: Lotomau," totalling 0.08 acres from Thomas Meredith for $120.00. (Anonymous 1960: 3)

On April 17, 1910, American Samoa's Fita Fita Barracks (now the headquarters of the Department of Public Safety) was dedicated at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. (Darden n.d.: 2)

On April 17, 1917, the first Codification of the Laws and Regulations of the Government of American Samoa was completed, due primarily to the efforts of Judge Alexander Stronach. (Bryan 1927: 57-58; Darden n.d.: 12)

On April 17, 1917, American Samoa's Governor, Commander John Martin Poyer, amended "Section 20: Copra Receipts" of the Codification of the Laws and Regulations of the Government of American Samoa, which was originally issued as "Regulation No. 10-1906" by Governor Charles Brainard Taylor Moore on November 27, 1906. (Noble 1931: 25)

On April 17, 1923, at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, the Leloaloa--Breakers Point portion of the William McKinley Memorial Road was opened. (Bryan 1927: 78)

On April 17, 1934, Captain Otto Carl Dowling relieved Lieutenant Commander Thomas Calloway Latimore and took office as American Samoa's 23rd naval governor (until January 15, 1936). (USNHC: Dowling RO)

On April 17, 1960, on the 60th anniversary of Flag Day, American Samoa's new flag was hoisted for the first time. For many years, American Samoa did not have an official flag. "Then, in the 1950s, the Office of the Governor solicited ideas for a flag from the local citizens. These were screened by the traditional leaders in Executive Council and a final design was worked out by the Institute of Heraldry of the U.S. Army." (Theroux n.d.: 5)

On April 17, 1973, the Official Seal of American Samoa, with the motto "Samoa Muamua le Atua" ("Samoa, Let God be First") was dedicated on the 73rd anniversary of Flag Day. (Please see the entries for March 5, 1973 and March 26, 1973). (Theroux n.d.: 5)

On April 17, 1980, during Flag Day celebrations in American Samoa, a U.S. Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion patrol plane, carrying six skydivers from the U.S. Army's Hawaii-based Tropic Lightning Parachute Club, had its vertical stabilizer shorn off by the Solo Ridge--Mount Alava aerial tramway cable, which stretches across Pago Pago Harbor. The plane crashed, demolishing a wing of the Rainmaker Hotel and killing seven people (all six crew members and one civilian). All six skydivers "were reported in good condition." (Moos 04/18/80 [01/22/97]: 4)

On April 17, 1987, Samoa Air, under the direction of James and Constance Porter of Anchorage, Alaska, began flying to Apia, Western Samoa from its base in American Samoa. (Porter OPR: 1997)

April 18:

On April 18, 1892, "Parcel No. 3," the Wellman estate in Pago Pago Harbor, consisting of "Mauga O'Ali'i, Sogalau [sic] and Fagaone, Seumale [sic], Faga Faga [sic]," (a total of 7.70 acres) was purchased from its executors ("J.K.C. Hobbs, et al.") by the United States Government for $977.50. (Anonymous 1894: 13; Anonymous 1960: 3)

On April 18, 1917, the crews of the German ships Solf and Elsass (11 officers and 31 men), who had been interned in American Samoa since August 6, 1914, were taken to Honolulu aboard the Ventura, whence they were transported to the U.S. mainland. (Bryan 1927: 50)

On April 18, 1931, Brigadier General Herbert Ernest ("Bert") Hart of the New Zealand Army succeeded Colonel Stephen Allen as Administrator of Western Samoa. (Field 1984: 201-202)

On April 18, 1970, the Apollo 13 spacecraft, containing astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr. and Fred W. Haise, Jr. splashed down in American Samoan waters. (Herdrich 1997)

April 19:

On April 19, 1909, German Samoa's Governor, Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, deported Lauaki Namulau'ulu Mamoe and 71 members of the "Mau a Pule" (the Savai'i Mau movement) to Saipan in the Mariana Islands, aboard SMS Jaguar. (Hempenstall 1978: 63-65)

On April 19, 1942, USS Sivan arrived in 'Upolu with construction materials for the new airport at Satapuala, Western Samoa. (Burke 1945c: 33)

April 20:

On April 20, 1931, Western Samoa's new Administrator, Brigadier General Herbert Ernest Hart, met exiled Mau leaders Olaf Nelson and Edwin Gurr in Auckland, before leaving for Samoa. They discussed very little; Nelson found Hart "very cordial." (Field 1984: 202)

On April 20, 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps' 2nd Defense Battalion "completed the installation of all its weapons when the last five-inch battery was installed on the North Coast [of Tutuila]." (Anonymous 1942: 2)

  On April 20, 1944, the second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) began her shakedown cruise at Hampton Roads, Virginia. (Mooney VII, 1981: 367)

April 21:

On April 21, 1844, the London Missionary Society established its Samoan headquarters at Malua, 'Upolu. (Gunson 1978: 324; Theroux 1985)

On April 21, 1881, Tupua Tamasese Lealofi I, Mata'afa Iosefo and other disaffected chiefs met at Leulumoega, 'Upolu. Tamasese was declared "King" of Atua and A'ana districts, to hold office for two years, and then to be succeeded by Mata'afa. (Bryan 1927: 27)

On April 21, 1896, Ralph Waldo Hungerford, American Samoa's 31st naval governor (January 27-September 3, 1945), was born in Windsor, New York. (USNHC: Hungerford RO)

On April 21, 1931, Western Samoa's Chief Judge, John Luxford, found O.F. Nelson & Co., Ltd. guilty of 28 charges of "aiding and abetting" the Mau. He levied a fine of £200 for each charge, for a total of £5,600, and added this comment: "I know of nothing more deserving of censure and condemnation than actions of a European [i.e. afakasi] or European corporation deliberately encouraging members of a somewhat unsophisticated native race to break the law." (The fine was later reduced by the New Zealand Supreme Court). (Field 1984: 199-200)

On April 21, 1941, Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb, Commandant of the Marine Corps, authorized the organization of the First Samoan Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. The Battalion's strength was limited to 500 men. (Anonymous 1945: 1)

On April 21, 1945, the Commander, Service Squadron, South Pacific Force informed the Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Advance Base, 'Upolu that the base's new mission was as follows: "(a) Token garrison with minor communication facilities. (Navy) (b) Seaplane base for itinerant aircraft. (Navy) (c) Airfield for emergency and itinerant aircraft. (Navy) (d) The internal security of the base is the responsibility of the Island Commander and will be provided by any personnel available for this. (e) Hospital facilities sufficient for the local garrison will be retained at the base." (Burke 1945c: 96)

April 22:

On April 22, 1916, a new branch dispensary was opened at Leone, American Samoa, at a cost of $2,300. (Bryan 1927: 76)

On April 22, 1931, Lieutenant Commander Arthur Tenney Emerson relieved Commander James Sutherland Spore and became American Samoa's 20th naval governor (acting: until July 17, 1931). (USNHC: Emerson RO)

On April 22, 1947, Captain Vernon Huber relieved Captain Harold Alexander Houser and took office as American Samoa's 34th naval governor (until June 15, 1949). (USNHC: Houser RO)

April 23:

On April 23, 1892, the second Catholic church at Leulumoega, 'Upolu, which was built by Father Léon Gavet, was blessed by Bishop Jean-Armand Lamaze. (Heslin 1995: 51)

On April 23, 1906, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 51: North Monument", 0.45 acres, from "Faumuina" for $75.00." (Anonymous 1960: 4)

On April 23, 1929, Father Eduard Bellwald, a Marist Father from Luxemburg and parish priest at Lepua, American Samoa, blessed the cornerstone of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, as construction of the new church began. (Heslin 1984b: 5)

April 24:

On April 24, 1900, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley announced that official notification of American Samoa Government policies and activities would be accomplished by posting notices on the Naval Station bulletin board in Fagatogo. The first two regulations issued were: "No. 1: Regulation for Promulgation of Laws for Tutuila and Manu'a," and "No. 2: Notice Concerning Temporary Customs Regulations." (Noble 1931: 2; Bryan 1927: 48; Darden n.d.: 4)

On April 24, 1900, "the commandant [Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley] appointed Chief Boatswain Henry Hudson, United States Navy, as customs officer for the United States Naval Station, Tutuila, including the islands of the Manu'a group. Pago Pago was made the only port of entry." (Bryan 1927: 93)

April 25:

On April 25, 1900, American Samoa's Governor, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, paid another visit to Manu'a, as the Manu'ans had "expressed to me a strong desire to have the American flag hoisted over their island." Accordingly, Tilley presented them with their own flag, "which they wished to hoist themselves." (Bryan 1927: 48)

On April 25, 1942, Tutuila's military population increased dramatically with the arrival of these units: the U.S. Marine Corps' 1st Raider Battalion, 2nd Barrage Balloon Squadron, 7th and 8th Defense Battalions, and 3rd Battalion, 11th Brigade, and the Navy's 2nd Construction Battalion ("Seabees"). (Burke 1945b: 48)

On April 25, 1942, Major General Charles F.B. Price, USMC, relieved Brigadier General Henry L. Larsen as Commanding General of the Samoan Defense Force (later called "Samoan Defense Group"). Larsen then became Commanding General, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. (Burke 1945a: 55; Denfeld 1989a: 22)

April 26:

On April 26, 1896, a new branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was established at Aua, American Samoa. (Anonymous 1997d: 9)

On April 26, 1955, Mosiula F. "Mosi" Tatupu, the third Samoan to be a member of a Super Bowl team, and the second Samoan to play in a Super Bowl (as a running back, No. 30, for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX on January 26, 1986), was born in Pago Pago, American Samoa to parents Mosiula F. Tatupu of Masefau and Letau Gao'upu of Pago Pago. (Tatupu in Sutter 1989: 194)

On April 26, 1973, the lower 6-inch naval gun at Blunts Point, Tutuila, American Samoa was entered on the National Register of Historic Places. (Apple 1971c)

April 27:

On April 27, 1960, the Constitution of American Samoa was ratified and approved by 68 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, Governor Peter Tali Coleman and Interior Secretary Fred A. Seaton. (Theroux 1985)

April 28:

On April 28, 1841, French Marist Father Peter Chanel was martyred on the island of Futuna in the Wallis Islands, when "the king, incensed at the conversion of his son Meita'a, ordered the riddance of Peter Chanel." (Heslin 1995: 20)

  On April 28, 1900, U.S. Naval Station Commandant Benjamin Franklin Tilley issued his Regulation No. 3, which was "An Ordinance to Prohibit the Supply of Intoxicating Liquors to Natives." This reflected his belief that the Samoans and their lands must be protected from the "harmful elements" of western civilization. (Bryan 1927: 48; Darden n.d.: 4)

On April 28, 1930, American Samoa's Governor, Captain Gatewood Sanders Lincoln, published his "Order No. 1, 1930," which explained that "The United States Naval Station Tutuila is entirely distinct from the island government in the matter of customs duties, and all importations into the United States Naval Station Tutuila for the use of persons residing within such station, and not for sale, are exempt from duty." (Noble 1931: 97-98)

On April 28, 1942, the staff of the U.S. Navy's Mobile Hospital No. 3 ("MOB 3") arrived in American Samoa. (Parsons 1945: 56-57)

On April 28, 1942, the Samoan Area Defense Force (later renamed the Samoan Defense Group) was established on Tutuila. The Force was commanded by Major General Charles F.B. Price, USMC, who "had seen service in France in World War I and was an early witness to Japanese aggression at Shanghai, China, while he was assigned to the American Legation from April 25, 1935 to November, 1938." Price was a "tough and outspoken person, not hesitant to speak up. For example, when the Marine Corps proposed sending Black Marines to Samoa, the general warned of the danger of contact between Blacks and the 'primitively romantic' Polynesian women.  Mixture of the Polynesian with the white race and the Chinese had produced desirable results, said Price, but the Union of Blacks and Polynesians had to be guarded against. He recommended stationing them in Micronesia [sic], where they could do no racial harm." (Denfeld 1989a: 27; Spector 1985: 390)

On April 28, 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps' 2nd Defense Battalion operated post exchange (PX) branches at the following locations on Tutuila: "#1 Brig. Hqrs.--Fagaalu; #2 Leone; #3 Aua; #4 3rd Bn., 8th Marines; #5 Utulei; #6 Airport; #7 Engineer Co., #8 Hqrs., 8th Marines--Pago Valley." (Anonymous 1942: 2)

On April 28, 1978, a South Pacific Island Airways (SPIA) Cessna 402 airplane crashed into Mount Fito (elevation: 3,608 feet), the highest peak on 'Upolu, Western Samoa. All ten people aboard were killed. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Bell UH-1D Iroquois ("Huey") helicopter, which was brought to Samoa in a RNZAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane, was used to remove the bodies, which had been brought to a flat area near 'Avele College. (Bier 1984; Sorensen and Theroux: PR; Theroux 1985)

On April 28, 1997, Uifa'atali Peter Tali Coleman, who was American Samoa's first Samoan Attorney General, first Samoan Governor, and first elected Governor, passed away at his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. Governor Coleman was "the only U.S. Governor ever to serve in that office for ...five [consecutive] decades." His survivors included "his wife, Nora; sons William P., Peter T., Jr., Milton, Bruce, Charles, Ricard, Paul, Barrett and Alan; daughters Amata, Sina'ita'aga and Limonmon; sisters Laida and Marion; 23 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren." (Samoa News, 04/29/1997: 1; Bendix 1997: 9)

April 29:

On April 29, 1899, the International Conference on Control of Samoa convened in Berlin, Germany. (Kennedy 1974: 171-173)

On April 29, 1942, all U.S. Marine Corps aviation units were placed under the control of the Commanding General, Samoan Defense Force (soon to be renamed "Samoan Defense Group"), Brigadier General Henry L. Larsen. (Anonymous 1942: 3)

On April 29, 1963, historian Richard Philip Gilson, aged 38, died of a heart attack after delivering a lecture at Los Angeles State College, where he was Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Gilson was the author of the classic book Samoa, 1830-1900: The Politics of a Multi-Cultural Community (Oxford University Press, 1970), and many other studies of Samoan and Pacific history. (Gilson 1970: iv)

April 30:

On April 30, 1842, Peter Rasmussen, founding father of Samoa's Rasmussen family, was born in Horsens, Denmark. (Theroux 1985)

On April 30, 1899, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, U.S. Navy, age 51, set sail from Norfolk, Virginia, on board USS Abarenda to deliver a cargo of coal and structural steel to the Navy's coaling station on the island of Tutuila, Samoa. (Gray 1960: 105; USNHC: Tilley RO)

On April 30, 1900, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley issued his "Regulation No. 4: Alienation of Native Lands." This and his "Regulation No. 5: A Declaration Concerning the Form of Government for the United States Naval Station Tutuila" (issued on May 1, 1900: q.v.) are considered to be the most important of the many regulations that Commander Tilley issued. (Noble 1931: 54-55; Darden n.d.: 4)

On April 30, 1915, the New Zealand Army's Samoan Relief Force, composed of 360 men "selected as unsuitable for front-line work," arrived in Apia for occupation duty. (Field 1984: 16)

On April 30, 1937, Commander James Sutherland Spore, American Samoa's 19th naval governor (acting: March 24-April 22, 1931), died of a coronary thrombosis in the San Diego Naval Hospital. (USNHC: Spore RO)

On April 30, 1942, the strength of the First Samoan Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve was four officers and 373 enlisted men. (Anonymous 1945: 9)


@ 2002