(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.






  December 1:

On December 1, 1910, the Governor of American Samoa, Commander William Michael Crose, issued his "Regulation No. 3-1910," which amended Commandant Benjamin Tilley's "Regulation No. 11-1900: Licenses, Etc., for Firearms." (Noble 1931: 40-43)

On December 1, 1938, the Hepburn Report recommended the development of Guam, Hawaii (mainly Pearl Harbor), Midway, Wake, Johnston and Palmyra islands as major air and sea bases. Also recommended for development for "tender-based patrol plane operations" was Rose Atoll (in addition to Johnston, Palmyra and Canton Islands). (Woodbury 1946: 45-49; Morison III, 1948: 33 n.)

On December 1, 1942, World War I ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker left Tutuila, where he was treated for malnutrition and dehydration at "MOB 3," and had regained twenty of the forty pounds that he lost while adrift in a raft after his plane crashed near Funafuti in the Ellice Islands. (Rickenbacker 1943: 79)

On December 1, 1943, the Supply Officer of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila "was made responsible for furnishing supplies to all Naval bases in the Samoan Defense Area. The bases which were included in the Samoan Defense Area at this time were Funafuti, Nanumea, Nukufetau, Upolu, Wallis and Tutuila." (Burke 1945b: 130)

On December 1, 1944, "there were 18 Navy; 13 Marines; and 82 New Zealand personnel on the island of Upolu." (Burke 1945c: 93)

December 2:

On December 2, 1899, a tripartite convention met in Washington, D.C. to finalize the agreement which partitioned Samoa, and was signed aboard USS Badger in Apia Harbor on November 14, 1899. (Gray 1960: 101-102)

On December 2, 1901, the United States Department of the Navy ruled that "(a) The occupancy of Tutuila is quite distinct from the sovereignty exercised at Porto [sic] Rico, Hawaii and Guam. (b) It is not foreign but domestic territory. (e) Samoans are not 'citizens of the United States,' but owe allegiance to the flag." (Bryan 1927: 55)

On December 2, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 15: Leone Tract," totalling 0.09 acres, from the Paul H. Krause Estate for $255.73, and "Parcel No. 16: Misataia" totalling 0.99 acres, from the same Grantor for $189.26. (Anonymous 1960: 3)

December 3:

On December 3, 1873, Australian writer and adventurer Louis Becke was sent by Mrs. Macfarland, owner of the store in Apia where he worked as a clerk, "to deliver a worm-eaten ketch, the E.A. Williams, to Captain ["Bully"] Hayes, who was waiting in the Marshalls, where he had cooked up a shady deal to hoodwink an unsuspecting native chief by palming off the worthless ketch for good money." (Michener and Day 1960: 242)

On December 3, 1894, Robert Louis Stevenson died of a cerebral hemorrhage "on a cot, in the hall" at his home "Vailima," in Western Samoa. At the time of his death, he was assisting his wife Fanny by making mayonnaise for the forthcoming meal. (Furnas 1951: 432; Tuala 1997)

December 4:

On December 4, 1878, Eli Hutchinson Jennings, settler, adventurer, trader, shipbuilder and owner of Swains Island, died and was buried there. (Theroux 1985)

On December 4, 1889, at a fono held in Lepea, 'Upolu, Malietoa Laupepa was once again declared "King of Samoa." The chiefs from Tutuila who attended were "Faiivae, Letuli, Satele, Toomata, Taua, Tauiliile [sic], Noa, Alapa, Olo, Salavea, Mauga, Sai, Leiato, Alo, Faumuina, Pele, Sauea." (Bryan 1927: 34)

On December 4, 1899, U.S. Secretary of State John Hay, in a letter to Mr. Joseph Choate, the United States's Ambassador to the Court of St. James, wrote that Tutuila was "the most important island in the Pacific as regards harbor conveniences for our Navy and a station on the trans-Pacific route." (Kennedy 1974: 279)

On December 4, 1955, the Countess Ballenstrem-Solf, née So'oa'emalelagi Solf, daughter of Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, Imperial Governor of German Samoa (1900-1910) died in Germany at age 46. Her early death was undoubtedly due to her imprisonment in Berlin's Moabit Prison and the Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen concentration camps, where she and her mother, Johanna, had been sentenced by a Nazi court for helping Jews escape to freedom. (Theroux 1983c: 58)

December 5:

On December 5, 1894, the Samoan Land Claims Commission held its last meeting, awarding 75,000 acres to German claimants, 36,000 to English petitioners, and 21,000 to American hopefuls. (Gilson 1970: 411; Gray 1960: 97-98)

On December 5, 1914, "Captain Tottenham of the [New Zealand] occupation forces brought Apia's rollicking social life to a standstill by proclaiming a complete ban on the 'production, sale, and purchase of liquor except for medicinal purposes.' Samoans were not greatly affected by the pronouncement; they still preferred kava. But the European community was stunned." (Ala'ilima 1988: 131)

On December 5, 1934, there occurred the "Blessing of the corner stone of the new Lotofaga [Catholic] church" in Western Samoa. (Heslin 1995: vi)

  December 6:

On December 6, 1787, a lookout in French navigator Jean-François de La Pérouse's fleet, approaching the Samoan archipelago from the east, sighted Ta'u. (Dunmore 1985: 269)

On December 6, 1899, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila wrote a letter to Mauga Moimoi of Pago Pago, informing him of the partition of the Samoan islands between Germany and the United States. He asked that this news be disseminated, and that the chiefs continue to maintain good order, promising that their authority, "when properly exercised, will be upheld." (Gray 1960: 107)

On December 6, 1900, William Blacklock was issued a license to sell liquor in the bar of his newly-constructed Oceanic Hotel in Tutuila. The license was signed, in Commmandant Benjamin Tilley's absence, by his executive officer, Lieutenant Commander E.J. Dorn. (Gray 1960: 135)

On December 6, 1905, American Samoa's Governor, Commander Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, enacted his "Regulation No. 8-1905: Custom Known as 'Auosoga' Prohibited." Subsection 1 of this regulation stated that "The word 'auosoga' in this regulation shall mean and include the wilfull damaging or destroying of trees or property of any nature whatsoever or any public indecent conduct upon the death of a person of rank or during the ceremony known as the 'lagi.'" (Noble 1931: 76)

On December 6, 1914, Lieutenant Charles Armijo Woodruff relieved Lieutenant Nathan Woodworth Post and became American Samoa's tenth naval governor (acting: until March 1, 1915). (USNHC: Woodruff RO)

On December 6, 1928, Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, a leader of Western Samoa's Mau, was found guilty of a summons relating to the non-payment of a poll tax in 1927, and was sentenced to six weeks in jail. He was also found guilty of resisting arrest, and was sentenced to a six-month jail term in New Zealand. (Field 1984: 131-132)

December 7:

On December 7, 1889, Fanny Stevenson was the first of Equator's passengers to sight 'Upolu. "Come up and see Samoa!" she called to her fellow passengers, who were below decks. Harry Jay Moors rowed out and met the Equator; he and Robert Louis Stevenson became firm friends. (Bell 1993: 238; Moors 1910: passim)

On December 7, 1899, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley left Pago Pago for Auckland, New Zealand to acquire materials for the construction of a wharf and buildings at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. (Bryan 1927: 45)

On December 7, 1920, American Samoa's Governor, Captain Waldo Evans, ordered "That the American judge of the district court of American Samoa make, under the supervision of the governor, a codification of the regulations and orders in force in American Samoa, the provisions of which codification shall come into force and take effect as shall be prescribed in Section 1 of said codification. That the codification so made be printed in both the English and Samoan languages, the Samoan text being prepared by the government interpreter, under the supervision of the American district judge and the governor." (Anonymous 1931: vi)

On December 7, 1941, "one platoon from each company of the First Samoan Battalion, [U.S.] Marine Corps Reserve, was ordered to active duty for a period of six weeks." (Anonymous 1945: 8)

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese fast carrier task force (Kito Butai) attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing severe damage. In American Samoa, "word of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the order to 'war alert' status were received at Tutuila by the Staff Duty Officer, Chief Pay Clerk W.J. Sherry, USMC, at 10:00, December 7, 1941. Immediately a base-wide alert was sounded, with men ordered to remain at battle stations. Liberty would be rotated among the marines at the rate of four hours every fourth day. This level of readiness was maintained until January 23 [1942] and the arrival of the 2nd Marine Brigade." (Burke 1945b: 40; Denfeld 1989)

On December 7, 1941, "When the Samoans heard that the United States was at war they came in from all sections of the island armed with bush knives (Machettes [sic]), volunteering to do anything necessary for the defense of Tutuila. There was no longer any time to worry about expense or approval in construction. Time became the valuable factor and the race against the Japanese was of prime importance." (Burke 1945b: 41)

On December 7, 1941, Captain Laurence Wild, Governor of American Samoa, after learning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, ordered all women and children evacuated from the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila and moved to the Atauloma Girls' School. (Thompson 1989: 22)

On December 7, 1943, Lieutenant James J. Adams, USNR relieved Lieutenant W.J. McGowan, Jr., USNR as "Commander, Advance Naval Base, 'Upolu, British Samoa," (Burke 1945c: 56)

On December 7, 1946, USS Tutuila (ARG-4), the second U.S. Navy ship to be so named, was decommissioned at Galveston, Texas, following her service in World War II. (Mooney VII, 1981: 368)

On December 7, 1991, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Hurricane "Val" caused widespread devastation throughout the Samoan Islands. (Sorensen PR)

December 8:

On December 8, 1852, the cornerstone of Apia's Catholic Mulivai Cathedral was blessed by French Marist Bishop Pierre Bataillon. (Heslin 1995: iii)

On December 8, 1919, Peter Tali Coleman, who became American Samoa's  first Samoan Attorney General, the only Samoan appointed civil governor, the first elected Samoan governor, the longest-serving governor in the history of American Samoa, and the only person in the history of the United States and its territories who served as governor in five consecutive decades, was born in Pago Pago. (Samoa News 04/29/97: 1)

On December 8, 1923, Pio Taofinu'u, who would become the first Polynesian bishop on May 29, 1968, and the first Polynesian Cardinal on March 5, 1973, was born "just after nightfall" in the village of Falealupo, Savai'i, "where the sun sets and the new day begins." (Taofinu'u in Sutter 1989: 159)

On December 8, 1954, in Western Samoa, Pio Taofinu'u was ordained as a priest by Bishop John Baptist Dieter. (Heslin 1995: 69)

December 9:

On December 9, 1907, Lieutenant P.B. Dungan, USN, Acting Governor of American Samoa, issued his "Regulation No. 13-1907: Village Courts." (Noble 1931: 13)

On December 9, 1941, "the First Samoan Battalion [U.S. Marine Corps Reserve] was placed on active duty for an indefinite date." (Anonymous 1945: 8)

On December 9, 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps' 1st Replacement Battalion arrived on Tutuila from New River, North Carolina for jungle training. After observing jungle combat on Guadalcanal, the Marine Corps' Commandant, Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb suggested that a Jungle Warfare Training Center be established in Samoa. The 1st Replacement Battalion was the first Marine Corps unit to receive jungle training in Samoa, at "Mormon (i.e., Malaeimi) Valley." It was followed by the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 13th, 15th and 19th Replacement Battalions. The training program "stressed conditioning marches and exercises, individual combat, cover and concealment, field fortifications, infiltration tactics and countermeasures, infantry weapons, jungle warfare, small unit tactics, and amphibious training." A Marine veteran of three World War II campaigns---Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima--- "to this day says that the worst experience he ever went through was the training program in Samoa. Everything from that ordeal on was relatively easy, and this from a scout-sniper, a Marine who operated behind the enemy lines." It was discontinued in 1943, because of the high incidence of filariasis. "Marines [over 3,000] infected with filariasis and other tropical ailments were sent to a special treatment center in the hills above Klamath Falls, Oregon." After the war, the building became a vocational training school. (Condit 1956: 185; Denfeld 1989: 48; Denfeld 1989a: 35; Gregg 1985: 35)

December 10:

On December 10, 1787, French navigator Jean-François de La Pérouse landed two exploration parties on Tutuila's north shore: one from the ship La Boussole ("The Compass") at Fagasa, and the other from L' Astrolabe ("The Quadrant") at A'asu. One of the cooks, David, died of "scorbutic dropsy" (scurvy). (Dunmore 1985: 269-270)

On December 10, 1888, Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, future Imperial Governor of German Samoa, was hired by Germany's Foreign Office. (Theroux 1983b: 52)

December 11:

On December 11, 1787, twelve members of Jean-François de La Pérouse's crew (including First Officer Paul-Antoine Fleuriot de Langle and 39 Samoans) were killed by angry Samoans at A'asu Bay, Tutuila, thereafter known as "Massacre Bay," which La Pérouse described as "this den, more fearful from its treacherous situation and the cruelty of its inhabitants than the lair of a lion or a tiger." This incident gave Samoa a reputation for savagery, and kept Europeans away until the arrival of the first Christian missionaries four decades later. (Apple 1971a; Day 1969 [1986]: 209-210; Dunmore 1985: 270-272)

On December 11, 1874, U.S. Secretary Hamilton Fish informed Albert Barnes Steinberger that he could return to Samoa in an American man-of-war, but at his own expense. "Your functions," said Fish, "will be limited to observing and reporting upon Samoan affairs and to impressing those in authority there with the lively interest which we take in their happiness and welfare." (Morrell 1960: 217)

On December 11, 1900, the United States Postmaster General, after receiving a complaint from Mrs. Isobel Field Strong (Robert Louis Stevenson's stepdaughter-in-law) about the Oceanic Hotel bar, brought it to the attention of Secretary of the Navy John Davis Long. (Gray 1960: 136)

On December 11, 1930, American Samoa's Governor, Captain Gatewood Sanders Lincoln, issued "Regulation Number 7-1930," which established a Judicial Commission for the Territory. Fourteen commissioners were appointed (one from each county). The purpose of the commission was to conduct hearings regarding objections to the registration of matai titles or titles to real property. The hearings were to be conducted by a Board of three Judicial Committee members. (Noble 1931: 4a)

On December 11, 1938, Mr. Ernst Ramm, the newly appointed German Consul to New Zealand, arrived in Apia to visit. He was met on board MV Matua by Mr. F.M. Jahnke, representing the "Concordia Club Party," which was composed of both full-blooded Germans and part-German afakasi. (Burke 1945c: 117)

On December 11, 1940, an advance detachment of the 7th Defense Battalion  sailed from Marine Corps Base San Diego. It was commanded by  Captain H. McFarland, under whom were First Lieutenant R.H. Ruud and  20 enlisted men. (Denfeld 1989a: 21)

December 12:

On December 12, 1787, at A'asu Bay, Tutuila, French explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse ordered his gunners to fire one cannonball in the midst of the attackers who had killed twelve of his men the day before, and were now returning to launch another attack. He later wrote in his journal "I could have destroyed or sunk a hundred canoes, with more than 500 people in them: but I was afraid of striking the wrong victims; the call of my conscience saved their lives." (Dunmore 1985: 272)

On December 12, 1846, French Marist Bishop Pierre Bataillon arrived in Apia, accompanied by "new missionaries." (Heslin 1995: iii)

On December 12, 1875, the Royal Navy ship HMS Barracouta, commanded by Captain C.E. Stevens, arrived in Apia Harbor. Stevens kidnapped "King" Malietoa Laupepa and, during a four-day "cruise" convinced him to dismiss his "Premier," Albert Barnes Steinberger. He did so when he returned, only to find that he himself had been dismissed by the Taimua and Faipule. (Gray 1960: 63)

On December 12, 1981, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum was opened at Vailima, Western Samoa. (Theroux 1985)

December 13:

On December 13, 1829, Apia's pilot and harbormaster Elisha Lyman Hamilton, son of Joseph and Rebeckah Hempstead Hamilton (called "Samasoni" by the Samoans), was born in New London, Connecticut. (Theroux 1986a: 40)

On December 13, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Trusteeship Agreement for Western Samoa. (Davidson 1967: 167)

December 14:

On December 14, 1787, La Boussole and L' Astrolabe weighed anchor, and set sail from Massacre Bay. La Pérouse, who refused to fire on A'asu village, observed: "I am a hundred times more angry against the philosophers who praise them [the "noble savages"] than against the savages themselves. Lamanon [a crew member], whom they massacred, was saying the day before that these men are worth more than us." La Pérouse went on to "discover" Apolima, Manono and Savai'i, which were missed by Roggeveen in 1722. (Apple 1971a; Dunmore 1985: 272)

On December 14, 1918, as the Spanish influenza pandemic raged through Western Samoa (which suffered the one of the highest percentages of "flu" deaths of any country in the world: 23 per cent), a Samoa Times article reported that "one fifth of the total population of the island ['Upolu] has perished." (Davidson 1967: 94; L. Garrett 1994: 157)

On December 14, 1927, Western Samoa's Administrator, Major General Sir George Richardson, sent letters to Olaf Frederick Nelson, Edwin William Gurr and Alfred Smyth, ordering them to appear before him and "show cause" why the provisions of the new Samoa Amendment Act should not apply to them. He accused them of being members of the Mau, which, he said, was "frustrating and rendering ineffective the functioning of the Administration of the Territory." (Field 1984: 107)

December 15:

On December 15, 1916, English writer William Somerset Maugham arrived in Pago Pago, allegedly accompanied by a missionary and Miss Sadie Thompson. (Theroux 1985)

On December 15, 1917, Fanua Seumanutafa Gurr, wife of Edwin William Gurr and friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Adams and John LaFarge, passed away and was buried at Malaloa, Tutuila. (Theroux 1985c: 45)

On December 15, 1926, American Samoa's Governor, Captain Henry Francis Bryan (USN, Ret.) established the Department of Communications. (Noble 1931: 85)

December 16:

On December 16, 1902, Captain Uriel Sebree completed his term as American Samoa's second naval governor (since November 27, 1901). (USNHC: Sebree RO)

On December 16, 1902, Lieutenant Commander Henry Minett became American Samoa's third naval governor (acting: until May 5, 1903). (USNHC: Minett RO)

On December 16, 1931, the New Zealand Supreme Court reduced the fine imposed on O.F. Nelson & Co. by Western Samoa's Chief Judge John Luxford from £5,600 to £470. (Field 1984: 200)

On December 16, 1940, the 7th Defense Battalion was  organized at Marine Corps Base, San Diego, with a total strength of 424. (Denfeld 1989a: 20)

On December 16, 1968, Mr. John Morse Haydon, prominent Seattle Republican and publisher of the Marine Digest, wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior-Designate Walter J. Hickel, asking to be appointed as governor of Guam, High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or Assistant Secretary of the Interior. On the same date, he wrote similar letters to  John Ehrlichman and Washington's Democratic Senator Warren G. Magnusson. (Haydon Papers, Box 1: 1968)

December 17:

  On December 17, 1920, the Council of the League of Nations confirmed and defined "A Mandate conferred upon and accepted by His Britannic Majesty for and on behalf of the Dominion of New Zealand to administer German Samoa." (Davidson 1967: 101;  Field 1984: 54; Rowe 1930: 96)

On December 17, 1925, in American Samoa, the Lauli'i-Faga'itua portion of the "William McKinley Memorial Road" was completed at a cost of $24,098. Chief Le'iato held a celebration and feast at Faga'itua to commemmorate the event. (Bryan 1927: 79)

On December 17, 1941, the U.S. Navy began construction of USS Alaska at the New York Shipbuilding Yard. This 29,779-ton battlecruiser (which the Navy called a "large cruiser") was the first in a six-ship class which were built to counter the Chichibu class battlecruisers which Japan was reported to be building (but in fact was not) and also to combat the German Navy's Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Prinz Eugen and "pocket battleships" such as the Graf Spee. The Alaskas had nine 12-inch 50-caliber guns, and were the only American vessels armed with these rifles. The ships in this class were named after U.S. Territories: USS Alaska (CB-1); USS Guam (CB-2); USS Hawaii (CB-3); USS Philippines (CB-4): USS Puerto Rico (CB-5), and USS Samoa (CB-6). The first two cruisers were completed in June and September, 1944, respectively, and saw action from the Okinawa campaign (April 1945) to the end of the Pacific war. USS Hawaii was laid up incomplete in 1945, and the last three were cancelled on June 24, 1943. Thus, only one U.S. Navy vessel, the captured, refitted and renamed SS Staatssekretär Solf, bore the name Samoa. (See the entries for August 6, 1914 and April 7, 1917). (Silverstone 1945: 34-35)

On December 17, 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps' 1st Replacement Battalion arrived in American Samoa. (Condit et al. 1956: 181)

On December 17, 1975, Senator Lualemaga Faliliu of American Samoa was shot and killed on Savai'i. (Theroux 1985)

December 18:

On December 18, 1900, the chiefs of Tutuila congratulated U.S. President William McKinley on his re-election, and expressed their admiration for Governor Benjamin Franklin Tilley, saying " gave us a leader, a Governor, a High Chief, whom we have learned to love and respect." The Reverend Ebenezer Vicesimus Cooper of the London Missionary Society added his praise, writing that "I cannot conceive of your finding a better man to represent your government in such delicate matters as must always be be associated with the task of 'annexing' than Commander Tilley." (Gray 1960: 127)

On December 18, 1933, Mau leader Olaf Frederick Nelson's sedition trial began in Apia. A.M. McCarthy was the prosecutor and Gustav Klinkmüller, a lawyer who had worked in the German administration, handled Nelson's defense. (Field 1984: 209)

December 19:

On December 19, 1968, in a letter to Secretary of the Interior-Designate Walter J. Hickel, Seattle publisher (Marine Digest) and Republican stalwart John Morse Haydon asked to be considered for the governorship of American Samoa. He had earlier expressed interest in being High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and in the governorship of Guam, but decided against it. Washington's Democratic Senator Henry M. ("Scoop") Jackson felt that there would be a political controversy generated by the appointment of "a Caucasian" to that post, in view of Guam's upcoming gubernatorial election (its first) in 1970. Mr. Haydon felt that American Samoa's climate would be good for Mrs. (Jean P.) Haydon's health. (She was suffering from lung cancer). (Haydon Papers, Box 1: 1968)

December 20:

On December 20, 1940, Admiral Harold Raynsford Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, directed the Governor of American Samoa, Captain Laurence Wild, to make suggestions for the establishment of "a Native Insular Force, not to exceed 500 men, to be officered and trained by the U.S. Marine Corps, and to be employed ashore in Samoa, mainly as outposts and guards at beaches....The Governor replied by recommending the establishment of a Native Insular Force separate and distinct from the Fita Fita Guard, which was to function under and to be paid by the Government of American Samoa." 
(Anonymous 1945: 1)

On December 20, 1941, at the entrance to Pago Pago Harbor, each of the six-inch guns in the Navy's Breakers Point battery fired 12 rounds at a towed target in the harbor, while the sister guns at the Blunts Point battery fired 20 rounds at another towed target. (Denfeld 1989a: 20)

On December 20, 1952, Captain Henry Minett, American Samoa's third naval governor (acting: December 16, 1902-May 5, 1903) died in Oteen, North Carolina, at age 95 1/2. (USNHC: Minett RO)

December 21:

On December 21, 1921, Captain Waldo Evans, Governor of American Samoa, enacted his "Regulation No. 6-1921," which amended Commander Clark Daniel Stearns' "Regulation No. 5-1913," which had earlier amended Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley's "Regulation No. 4-1900: Alienation of Native Lands." (Noble 1931: 54-55)

On December 21, 1927, New Zealand's Governor-General, Sir Charles Fergusson, signed an Order-in-Council giving Western Samoa's Administrator, Sir George Richardson, the power to deport Mau leaders Olaf Frederick Nelson, Edwin William Gurr and Alfred Smyth. (Field 1984: 108)

On December 21, 1940, the advance detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps' 7th Defense Battalion arrived in Tutuila. (Denfeld 1989a: 21)

On December 21, 1941, an Army tugboat towing a barge carrying refugees from Canton Island (in the Phoenix Islands) entered Pago Pago Harbor. The refugees were fleeing from a possible Japanese occupation. (Denfeld 1989: 30)

On December 21, 1944, the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila's redeployment program (i.e., reduction of facilities and personnel) was completed. (Burke 1945b: 76)

December 22:

On December 22, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 22: Milo Milo," totalling 0.07 acres, from "Samia" for $113.50; "Parcel No. 26: Laloifi," totalling 0.06 acres, from Mele Meredith for $184.57; "Parcel No. 27: Utumoa," totalling 0.05 acres, from "Ifopo" for $224.10; "Parcel No. 28: Lelotoa," from "Samia" for $526.76; "Parcel No. 29: Faleulu," from "Tiumalu" for $515.51, and "Parcel No. 30: Faletoi," comprised of 0.14 acres, from "Samia" for $224.10." (Anonymous 1960: 3-4)

On December 22, 1902, at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased the remaining portion of "Parcel No. 12: Church Site," totalling 0.23 acres, from "Ifopo" for $224.10. (Please see the entry for July 11, 1900). (Anonymous 1960: 3)

On December 22, 1954, Western Samoa's Constitutional Convention concluded its proceedings. (Davidson 1967: 324)

December 23:

On December 23, 1862, Elders Kimo Pelio and Samuel Manoa of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints left Hawaii to establish an LDS mission in Samoa. (Anonymous 1997: 9)

On December 23, 1879, German warships saluted Malietoa Talavou and the new Samoan flag, which was red with a white cross and a white star in the upper left quadrant. (Theroux 1985)

On December 23, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased the remaining portion of "Parcel No. 18: Tuaifuata," totalling 0.09 acres from "Taualogo" for $344.16. (Please see the entry for June 12, 1901). (Anonymous 1960: 3)

On December 23, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 31: Milimilo," totalling 0.32 acres from "Samia" for $756.90. (Please see the entry for July 6, 1903). (Anonymous 1960: 4)

On December 23, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased the following parcels of land: "No. 32: Faletoi," 0.11 acres, from "E. Ripley" for $283.63; "No. 33: Faleseu," 0.50 acres, from "Fanene" for $640.83; "No. 34: Gautavai," 0.21 acres, from "Fanene" for $526.76; "No. 35: Tafatafa," 0.17 acres, from "Mailo" for $283.63; "No. 36: Vaiifi, 1.99 acres, from "Fanene" for $1,236.84; "Nos. 37, 38 and 39: Asiafa & Suifaoa," 0.93 acres from "Ta'amu" for $647.17, and "No. 40: Malatoa," 5.48 acres from "Lutu" for $1,653.13. (Anonymous 1960: 4)

On December 23, 1941, the 2nd Marine Brigade, Reinforced, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, was organized at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California, "in accordance with Table of Organization No. D-2 approved 8 April 1942, less Co. 'B', 2nd Tank Battalion and plus 2nd Barrage Balloon Squadron, organized as laid down in Table of Organ. No. S-160, approved 3 April 1942," for service in Samoa. The Brigade was commanded by Colonel (later Brigadier General) Henry L. Larsen. His staff officers were Lieutenant Colonel Victor F. Bleasdale, Chief of Staff; Captain Peter A. McDonald, B-1 (Personnel); Lieutenant Colonel William L. Bales, B-2 (Intelligence); Captain Fred D. Beans, B-3 (Operations), and Major Howard R. Duff, B-4 (Supply). "Principal units integrated into the organization were: The Eighth Marine Regiment; the First Battalion, Tenth Marines (artillery) and the Second Defense Battalion. These three outfits, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Richard H. Jeschke, who had just relieved Colonel Larsen, the latter having been in command since its organization in 1940, Lieutenant Colonel Louis G. DeHaven and Lieutenant Colonel Raymond E. Knapp, respectively, were among the best trained in the Marine Corps. For the past 12 months of peace, they had been drilling and maneuvering on a war-time basis in preparation for just such an assignment as this." (Anonymous 1942: 1-2; Anonymous 1943: 1-2)

December 24:

On December 24, 1902, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcels Nos. 41 & 42: Soata & Suifaga," totalling 1.62 acres from "Afoa" for $647.17 and "Parcel No. 43: Laloifi," 0.06 acres, from "M. Meredith" for $152.22. (Anonymous 1960: 4)

On December 24, 1914, hundreds of drunken New Zealand soldiers "rampaged through Apia, plundering the German stores and stealing anything that looked as though it might be drinkable. (In their haste, they even took bottles of vinegar). Thereafter about forty drunk soldiers went to the government house in Vailima (formerly Robert Louis Stevenson's residence) and shouted to the Administrator [Lieutenant Colonel Robert Logan] that he should go home to New Zealand and look after his sheep. The commander of the military police could go too, they added. If he did not quickly go back to hunting rabbits again, they threatened, they would beat him up one day." (Hiery 1995: 157)

On December 24, 1919, Aifili Paulo Lauvao, who subsequently, in his long public career, became known as A.P. Lutali, and was a Sergeant in the First Samoan Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, a founder of Samoana High School, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, Delegate to the U.S. Congress, and second elected Governor of American Samoa, was born on the island of Aunu'u. (Lutali OPR)

On December 24, 1941, the 2nd Marine Brigade was activated at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California for service in Samoa. (Denfeld 1989a: 22)

On December 24, 1942, the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion departed 'Upolu, after participating in "one of the 'great beer busts' of the Pacific War" aboard the Liberty Ship Oliver Wendell Holmes, en route to Tutuila. The ship's captain had told Major Michael S. Currin, the battalion's operations officer, "that, before his ship could sail, the remainder of the beer must be unloaded." Much of the Rainier beer was consumed in the process of unloading. (This incident was recorded in the journal of Corporal William E. Pepper, of Pickens, Mississippi, and was incorporated into an unpublished manuscript by Marine Private Edwin C. Bearss, of Sarpy, Montana, who subsequently became a noted authority on the American Civil War, and recently retired as Chief Historian of the National Park Service. He wrote that "Although morale was sky high and the men eager to come to grips with the Japanese, many hated to say goodbye to this beautiful island and its friendly natives. In the months and years ahead, they would become nostalgic when reminiscing about their months in British Samoa." (Bearss 1978, 1981: 5)

December 25:

On December 25, 1941, Rear Admiral William Rea Furlong, who had been the Chief of the Policy and Liaison Section in the Navy's Office of Island Governments, and the American Samoan Commission's legal adviser and paymaster in September and October, 1930, was appointed Commandant of the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard. "There he had charge of the gigantic salvage project in addition to the repair of ships damaged during the Japanese attack. For service in that assignment, he was awarded the Legion of Merit and Gold Star in lieu of the second Legion of Merit." (USNHC: Furlong RO)

December 26:

On December 26, 1942, 15 pilots from MAG-13 (Marine Air Group 13) were transferred from Tutuila to Guadalcanal, "leaving behind only 26 pilots. Further calls from Guadalcanal nearly emptied the Samoa bases." (Denfeld 1989a: 33)

December 27:

On December 27, 1927, Vernon Huber, who would become American Samoa's 34th naval governor (April 22, 1947-June 15, 1949) was married to Miss Ida Brown of Springfield, Illinois. 
(USNHC: Huber RO)

December 28:

On December 28, 1898, in a memorandum to Secretary of the Navy John Davis Long, R.B. Bradford, Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Equipment, recommended that the United States obtain control of Tutuila and Manu'a. (Kennedy 1974: 143 n.50)

On December 28, 1929, Mau leader Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III was assassinated in Apia by a New Zealand Army sniper during a peaceful Mau demonstration. Other demonstrators were wounded, including Mata'afa Faumuina Fiame Mulinu'u I and Tuimaleali'ifano Siu. Tamasese issued this deathbed statement to the Mau: "My blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it. Do not dream of avenging it, as it was spilt in maintaining peace. If I die, peace must be maintained at any price." (This day became known as "Black Saturday"). (Field 1984: 147-159; Burke 1945c: 109-110)

On December 28, 1930, a memorial service was conducted in Apia for the Mau members who were slain on "Black Saturday." It was followed by a procession, beginning in Apia and ending at the decedents' graves in Vaimoso. (Field 1984: 198-199)

On December 28, 1971, Eugene Friedrich Paul, founder of Apia's Gold Star Transport Company and Chairman of the Board of Polynesian Airlines since 1960, died in Honolulu following a spinal operation. (Eustis 1979: 193-194)

  December 29:

On December 29, 1929, Mau leader Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III died from loss of blood, 26 hours after being shot on the previous day (q.v.). (Warburton 1996: 88-89)

On December 29, 1930, George Egerton Leigh Westbrook, English adventurer, trader, journalist, friend of Robert Louis Stevenson and Mau member described the first anniversary of "Black Saturday" in a letter to Mau leader Taisi Olaf Frederick Nelson, who was living in exile in New Zealand. He wrote, "I witnessed a most wonderful sight. It was a long procession of probably 1,500 women, all dressed in mourning and carrying wreaths of flowers and floral offerings....There was also another sight to be seen, and this was a number of New Zealand white constabulary....passing down the street armed with revolvers and a display of cartridges." (Field 1984: 250 n.20)

December 30:

On December 30, 1788, Otto Eustafevich von Kotzebue, the European discoverer of Rose Atoll, was born in Tallinn (then called Reval), Estonia. (Dunmore 1991: 144)

On December 30, 1918, American Samoa's Governor, Commander John Martin Poyer, issued his "Regulation No. 5-1918: Searching for Coconut Beetle and Cleaning of Plantations." This was subsequently amended by Governors Warren Jay Terhune on April 27, 1920, Edward Stanley Kellogg on January 1, 1924 and Waldo Evans on May 10, 1921. (Noble 1931: 59-61)

On December 30, 1930, Western Samoan Mau leader Olaf Frederick Nelson, living in exile in New Zealand, wrote that "There is not the least hope of rapprochemont between New Zealand and the Samoans so long as the Government of New Zealand tries to cover its many faults and to escape responsibility for the troubles." (Field 1984:196-197)

December 31:

On December 31, 1885, in Apia, the German Consul in Apia, Dr. C. Stuebel, hauled Malietoa Laupepa's flag down, explaining that Malietoa had no jurisdiction over the municipal zone. (Gilson 1970: 379, 381)

On December 31, 1890, Edwin William Gurr married Fanua Seumanutafa at the British Consulate in Apia. In attendance were the bride's father, Seumanutafa Moepogai, who had saved many sailors and civilians during the "Great Apia Hurricane" of March, 1889; Robert Louis Stevenson; American historian Henry Brooks Adams (great-grandson of President John Adams, grandson of President John Quincy Adams, and son of Ambassador Charles Francis Adams), and American artist John LaFarge. (Theroux 1985a: 40-41)

On December 31, 1898, in accordance with the provisions of the Berlin General Act, the Chief Justice of Samoa ruled that Malietoa Tanumafili I would be "King," as the three claimants (Malietoa, Tui A'ana Tupua Tamasese Lealofi I and Mata'afa Iosefo) could not agree among themselves as to who should be "King." Once again, civil war broke out. (Bryan 1927: 40)

On December 31, 1914, New Zealand's army of occupation in Western Samoa consisted of 1,351 soldiers, 53 officers and 6 medical orderlies. (Hiery 1995: 316 n. 17)

On December 31, 1921, the last day of Calendar Year 1921, American Samoa had 18 public schools in the following villages: Afono, Alao, Amanave, Anua (the Poyer School), 'Aoa, Aoloau, Aunu'u, Faga'itua, Fagali'i, Fagasa, Ili'ili, Leone (girls' school), Ofu, Olosega, Ta'u and Vatia. (Bryan 1927: 88)

On December 31, 1926, the religious membership of Samoa was as follows:

Religion: Western Samoa:American Samoa:

London Missionary Society: 23,4746,985
Wesleyan Methodist Mission: 6,447  295
Roman Catholic Mission: 5,8421,047
Mormon Mission:   898  353
Seventh Day Adventists:    27
(Heslin 1995: 59)  

On December 31, 1941, "a boatload of residents of outlying Samoan islanders docked at the Naval Station. The Samoans of Tutuila found room for displaced local and outlying refugees. There was no need to involve the governor, other than transportation." (Denfeld 1989a: 21)

On December 31, 1942, only 157 New Zealand military personnel were available for the defense of Western Samoa. (Thompson 1990: 24)  

On December 31, 1942, the Navy's Mobile Hospital No. 3 ("MOB 3") at Mapusaga, American Samoa, had completed 116 war hospital units. (Parsons 1945: 200)

  On December 31, 1943, the population of Western Samoa was 64,661, "of which 95% were native Samoans, 4% Europeans and half castes, and 1% Chinese and Melanesian." (Burke 1945c: 2)

On December 31, 1963, Saleva'a "Konishiki" Fauli Atisano'e, Samoan sumo wrestler, and the first foreigner to achieve the rank of Champion in Japan, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Lautoa Atisano'e of Tula and Talafa'aiva of Poloa, Tutuila, American Samoa. (Atisano'e in Sutter 1989: 173)


@ 2002