(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.






May 1:

  On May 1, 1871, a Marist Brothers' school "was opened at Saleufi (Apia) with 12 pupils--a number which gradually grew to 25. However, the Brothers faced huge problems on account of both the language difficulties and the change in diet. Then all the pupils left during 1877 on account of the school closing because of the civil wars." (Heslin 1995: 90)

On May 1, 1890, Laurence Wild, American Samoa's 28th naval governor (August 8, 1940-June 5, 1942), was born in Wilber, Nebraska. (USNHC: Wild RO)

On May 1, 1900, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, wrote that "The government which I propose to establish for these islands is a government of the chiefs, who are to receive additional appointments to their positions from the Commandant of the Station." (Darden n.d.: 5)

On May 1, 1900, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila Commandant Benjamin Franklin Tilley issued his "Regulation No. 5-1900: Form of Government," which stated that: (1) The laws of the United States of America would be in force in American Samoa; (2) "The customs of the Samoans, not in conflict with the laws of the United States concerning American Samoa, shall be preserved, unless otherwise requested by the representatives of the people;" (3) Village, county and district councils would "retain their own form or forms of meeting together to discuss affairs of the village, county or district according to their own Samoan custom." (4) "The governor, for the time being, of American Samoa, is the head of the government. He is the maker of all laws, and he shall make and control all appointments." The subsequent sections of the Regulation dealt with districts, district governors, pulenu'u, judicial administration, village and district courts, the High Court, civil and criminal procedure, the Secretary of Native Affairs, and the Departments of Public Health and Public Works. (Noble 1931: 2-8)

On May 1, 1900, the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila's Commandant Benjamin Franklin Tilley issued his "Regulation No. 6-1900: Oath of Allegiance and Judicial Oath." (Noble 1931: 12)

On May 1, 1900, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley reported to the Navy Department that "The missionaries working in Tutuila and Manua have given me much help, especially those of the London Missionary Society....These devoted men have done a noble work, and the task of organizing a government is made easy by reason of their hard and patient labor among the natives. Practically all the natives of Manua and most of the natives of Tutuila are professing Christians." (Bryan 1927: 100)

On May 1, 1920, New Zealand's civil administration of Western Samoa began, under the authority of two bills passed by the New Zealand Parliament. The first bill provided for the establishment of a Department of External Affairs. The second empowered the government to establish a civil administration in Western Samoa. Under this authority, a Samoa Constitution Order was created. (Field 1984: 53)

On May 1, 1925, American Samoa's Poyer School became a boarding school, "the pupils of which work on the plantation, before and after school, for their keep." (Bryan 1927: 90)

On May 1, 1966, Robin Lee Graham, age 16, departed Apia aboard his sailboat Dove, during his solo 'round-the-world voyage. (Graham 1972: 44)

May 2:

On May 2, 1942, Japan's Imperial General Headquarters ordered the raising of a new Army, the Seventeenth, commanded by Lieutenant General Horoyushi Hyakutake for operations against New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa. (Willmott 1983: 99)

May 3:

On May 3, 1841, Malietoa Vai'inupo ("Tavita"), the first tama 'aiga chief to accept Christianity, died in Western Samoa. (Theroux 1985)

On May 3, 1865, Henry Francis Bryan, American Samoa's 16th naval governor (March 17, 1925-September 9, 1927), was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. (USNHC: Bryan RO)

On May 3, 1869, Warren Jay Terhune, 12th naval governor of American Samoa (June 10, 1919-November 3, 1920), was born in Midland Park, New Jersey. (USNHC: Terhune RO)

On May 3, 1899, Dr. Wilhelm Heinrich Solf, who would soon become the first Imperial Governor of German Samoa, arrived in Apia, after stopping in Fiji to study British methods of colonial administration. (Theroux 1983b: 54)

On May 3, 1905, Commander Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, issued his "Regulation No. 3-1905: Legal Tender." He subsequently amended this regulation on November 27, 1906. (Noble 1931: 61)

On May 3, 1906, Commander Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, Commandant of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, enacted "Regulation No. 3-1906: Enlisted Men of the Navy," which exempted sailors from being arrested "on mesne process, or taken or charged in execution of any debt, unless it was contracted before his enlistment." (Noble 1931: 53-54)

On May 3, 1926, the last issue of relief food for the January 1, 1926 hurricane was dispensed on Tutuila. (Bryan 1927: 4)

On May 3, 1928, "Colonel Stephen Shepard Allen, son of a one-time member of parliament, a veteran of the Western Front, a man with degrees in mathematics and law from Cambridge, a lawyer and a farmer, [and]... mayor of the small town of Morrinsville [New Zealand] was appointed to succeed Major General Sir George Richardson as New Zealand's Administrator of Western Samoa." (Field 1984: 124)

May 4:

On May 4, 1900, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 11: Talie and Satalo," totalling 4.31 acres from "Wellmen [sic], Hobbs et al." for $1,425.00. (Anonymous 1960: 3)

On May 4, 1901, Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, a future leader of the Mau, was born in Western Samoa. (Warburton 1996: 88-89)

On May 4, 1928, Western Samoa's Chief Judge, William Woodward, convicted Chinese coolie Lei Mau of the murder of his fellow Chinese coolie, Li Chau. The prosecution's main witness was another Chinese coolie, Wong See. (Field 1984: 127)

May 5:

On May 5, 1768, French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, aboard La Boudeuse and accompanied by L' Etoile, sighted the Samoan islands. Impressed by the Samoans' ship handling skills, he named the archipelago "The Navigator Islands," and they were known by that name for over a century. Bougainville compared the Samoans to the Tahitians by saying that "I do not believe these islanders are as gentle as our Cythereans. Their appearance was more savage, and they displayed far more mistrust." (Dunmore 1985: 269; Spate III, 1988: 96)

On May 5, 1898, the U.S. Navy purchased SS Abarenda from an English conpany and commissioned her as USS Abarenda (AC-13). She subsequently served as the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila's first station ship until May 29, 1902, after which she served in the Atlantic Fleet and in the Asiatic Station from 1910 until 1926, after which she was sold. (Denfeld 1989a: 6)

On May 5, 1928, Western Samoa's new Administrator, Colonel Stephen Shepard Allen, arrived in Apia from New Zealand. He was accompanied by 74 men of the newly created Samoa Military Police, armed with rifles, pistols and two Lewis machine guns. (Field 1984: 124)

On May 5, 1933, Western Samoan Mau leaders Olaf Frederick Nelson and Edwin William Gurr, having finished their terms of exile, left Auckland for Apia. (Field 1984: 207)

On May 5, 1942, SS Kit Carson arrived in Western Samoa with construction materials for military bases. (Burke 1945c: 33)

May 6:

On May 6, 1904, Commander E.B. Underwood, Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, issued his "Regulation No. 2-1904: Licenses for Importers of Goods." (Noble 1931: 43-44)

On May 6, 1912, Commander William Michael Crose, Governor of American Samoa, issued his "Regulation No. 2-1912: Buildings," which repealed Governor Benjamin Franklin Tilley's "Regulation No. 1-1901: Buildings," which was enacted on March 25, 1901. (Noble 1931: 23-24)

May 7:

On May 7, 1879, French Marist Bishop Jean-Armand Lamaze was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Central Oceania and Administrator of Samoa. (Heslin 1995: iv)

On May 7, 1908, American novelist John Griffith ("Jack") London and his wife Charmian Kittredge London arrived in Apia on their Pacific cruise aboard their yacht Snark. (Theroux 1985)

On May 7, 1951, the second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) was recommissioned and assigned to the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. (Mooney VII, 1981: 368)

May 8:

On May 8, 1871, Charles Thomas ("Sale") Taylor, Robert Louis Stevenson's translator and "sesquipedalian young half-caste" was born in Apia. (Theroux 1985)

On May 8, 1892, the first Samoan Catholic Priest, Father Ioane Tofe, was ordained at Vaea, 'Upolu by Bishop Jean-Armand Lamaze, Vicar Apostolic of Central Oceania and Administrator of Samoa. (Heslin 1995: v)

On May 8, 1942, USS Sumner arrived in Western Samoa with military supplies and equipment. She investigated Vailele, Fagaloa and Saluafata Bays for possible use as naval facilities. (Burke 1945c: 33-34)

May 9:

On May 9, 1838, the London Missionary Society established a church at Pago Pago, Tutuila. (Gray 1960: 41)

On May 9, 1942, in Western Samoa, the U.S. Marine Corps' 7th Defense Battalion came under the control of the 3rd Marine Brigade, commanded by Major General Charles D. Barrett. (Denfeld 1989: 46)

On May 9, 1961, a plebiscite was held in Western Samoa to determine whether the voters agreed with the 1960 constitution, and whether they agreed that Western Samoa should become independent on January 1, 1962. To the first question, 31,426 voters answered "Yes," 4,909 "No," and 1,562 "Informal." To the second question, 29,882 voted "yes," 5,108 "No," and 2,907 "Informal." A total of 37,897 votes were cast. (Davidson 1967: 406)

May 10:

On May 10, 1921, it was ordered that the Codification of the Regulations and Orders for the Government of American Samoa "shall take effect and come into force at 12 o'clock noon, by order of Captain Waldo Evans, Governor." (Anonymous 1931: 1)

On May 10, 1928, in Western Samoa, Chinese coolie Wong See, the principal prosecution witness against coolie Lei Mau for the murder of their coolie colleague, Li Chau, was himself found guilty of the joint murder of Li Chau. Both he and Lei Mau were sentenced to hang, and were chained in their cells. (Field 1984: 127)

On May 10, 1942, SS Bellatrix and SS Cauley arrived in Apia with military supplies and equipment for the construction of an airport at Satapuala. (Burke 1945c: 33)

On May 10, 1942, Companies A and B of the 2nd Naval Construction ("Seabee") Battalion arrived on 'Upolu to build an airfield at Faleolo, 22 miles west of Apia. (Denfeld 1989: 46)

On May 10, 1997, American Samoa's first elected governor, Uifa'atali Peter Tali Coleman, was buried in Diamond Head Memorial Park, Hawai'i, following funeral services at St. Augustine's Church, Honolulu, which were attended by more than 700 people, including Governors Ben Cayetano of Hawai'i and Tauese P.F. Sunia of American Samoa. (Please see the entry for April 28, 1997). (Bendix 1997: 9; Jensen 1997: 4)

May 11:

On May 11, 1937, Mrs. Natalie Blauvelt Milne, wife of American Samoa's Governor, Captain MacGillivray Milne, appealed directly to First Lady (Anna) Eleanor Roosevelt for increased federal aid for public health projects. As proof that the Territory lacked a modern sanitary system, "Mrs. Milne enclosed in her letter a picture of a Samoan outhouse [fale sami] on stilts over the water. Nevertheless, Mrs. Milne was no more successful than her husband in getting aid for Samoa." (Olsen 1976: 173-74)

On May 11, 1943, the 22nd Marine Regiment was detached from the 3rd Marine Brigade on 'Upolu and was transported to Tutuila. (Anonymous 1945: r3)

On May 11, 1966, one of Polynesian Airlines' two DC-3 aircraft disintegrated in the air with three crew members (General Manager Captain George Scott, Operations Manager Captain Jerry Stancil and co-pilot Alastair Gibbens) aboard during a routine training flight. "The New Zealand investigators found that the accident was most probably caused by a specially fitted air stair door blowing open, breaking loose, and crashing into the tail structure." (Eustis 1979: 172)

May 12:

On May 12, 1922, Commander John Martin Poyer, American Samoa's 11th (and longest-serving) naval governor (March 1, 1915-June 10, 1919), died in Washington, D.C. (USNHC: Poyer RO)

On May 12, 1932, Captain George Bertram Landenberger succeeded Captain Gatewood Sanders Lincoln, and took office as American Samoa's 21st naval governor (until April 10, 1934). (USNHC: Landenberger RO)

On May 12, 1942, SS Manderan arrived in Apia with military supplies and equipment. (Burke 1945c: 33)

May 13:

On May 13, 1885, James Sutherland Spore, 19th naval governor of American Samoa (acting: March 24-April 22, 1931), was born in Bay City, Michigan. (USNHC: Spore RO)

On May 13, 1899, a Joint Commission appointed by the three governing powers (Britain, Germany and the United States) arrived in Apia "to exercise supreme authority in the islands and prepare a strong and stable government for the future." The members were: Mr. Bartlett Tripp (United States: former Minister to Austria); Mr. C.N.E. Eliot (Britain: Second Secretary to the British Embassy to the United States), and Freiherr Speck von Sternberg (Germany: First Secretary of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.). (Bryan 1927: 41-42)

On May 13, 1915, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Logan, New Zealand's Administrator of Western Samoa, declared "Loafing" to be a crime punishable by a fine not to exceed 30 shillings. "Loafing" was defined as "a sort of gross laziness." This dictum was aimed primarily at the Chinese. (Field 1984: 31)

On May 13, 1942, "Promotions to privates first class of not exceeding twenty-five per cent of the total authorized strength of privates and privates first class [in the First Samoan Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve] was authorized." (Anonymous 1945: 9)

On May 13, 1944, the Commander, Service Squadron, South Pacific, drew up a plan for the redeployment of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel on 'Upolu. He described 'Upolu's mission as "token garrison (Marine) with minor communications facilities." (Burke 1945c: 73)

May 14:

On May 14, 1908, John Griffith "Jack" London, accompanied by his wife Charmian on board their yacht Snark, departed Apia, after lecturing on the virtues of socialism in the Market Hall. (Theroux 1985)

On May 14, 1942, Major General Charles F.B. Price, USMC, Commanding General, Samoan Defense Area (later called "Samoan Defense Group"), wrote a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb), in which he discussed "Subject: Possibilities for future development of air and naval bases on the island of Upolu, Western (British) Samoa....Even after a casual survey of the situation in this area an observer must be struck with the advantages which the geographical location and topographical formation of the island of Upolu offer for development as an air base of the first magnitude. With the single exception of the harbor facilities at Pago Pago, this island is superior in every respect to American Samoa." (Burke 1945c: 128)

On May 14, 1949, President Harry S. Truman directed the Secretaries of the Navy and Interior to develop plans for the transfer of American Samoa, Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from Navy to Interior administration. (Darden n.d.: ix; Gray 1960: 258)

May 15:

On May 15, 1911, Governor William Michael Crose wrote a two-page letter to Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer stating that the designation "U.S. Naval Station Tutuila" was inadequate and incorrect, as it did not include the eastern Samoan islands. He said that "The people of Manu'a resent their being classed as part of 'Tutuila,' as Manu'a has always been independent, prosperous and of great pride of race." He suggested that America's Samoan Territory be called either "American Samoa" or "Eastern Samoa." (Letter, Crose-Meyer: 05/15/1911)

May 16:

On May 16, 1919, French Marist Bishop Joseph Darnand was "consecrated at Apia by Archbishop O'Sea, assisted by Bishops Blanc and Nicolas." (Heslin 1995: vi)

On May 16, 1933, Mau leader Olaf Frederick Nelson returned to Western Samoa from exile in New Zealand. Three fautasi were on hand to greet him, along with 2,500 members of the Women's Mau. Few men were present, as the police had refused permits for them to leave their villages. (Field 1984: 207)

On May 16, 1997, Samoa's Air's first flight to Savai'i left Tutuila at 8:45 a.m. and landed on the Big Island's Maota Airstrip "just under an hour later." "On board the 20-seater Twin Otter aircraft were Governor Tauese Sunia and his bodyguard, Ron Pritchard and his wife representing Samoa Air, Simalu Thompson (a Samoa Air executive), Kalameli Timu and a cameraman from KVZK-TV," the Samoa News's Fili Sagapolutele, "and five paying passengers." (Sagapolutele 1997c: 15)

May 17:

On May 17, 1917, the German steamer Elsass, which had sought asylum in Pago Pago Harbor on August 6, 1914 (shortly after the outbreak of World War I), and which was seized by the U.S. Navy on April 7, 1917, was towed from Pago Pago to Pearl Harbor by USS Ajax. (Bryan 1927: 50)

May 18:

On May 18, 1836, the United States Congress authorized funds for the United States Exploring Expedition (the "Wilkes Expedition"), which would visit Samoa in 1839. (Bryan 1927: 20)

On May 18, 1875, a new Samoan constitution, masterminded by Albert Barnes Steinberger, was completed in Apia and was adopted by the Taimua. Under this consitution, Malietoa Laupepa was king, with Steinberger as Premier and Chief Justice. "A hereditary monarchy was established, in which the Kings were to be chosen alternatively  from the two great houses of Malietoa and Tupua, each King to reign four years. A Parliament of two houses was provided---that of chiefs or nobles (Taimua) and that of representatives (Faipule). This government, while it lasted, was the only efficient and stable one which the islands had had since there had been a considerable foreign population. It was Steinberger's government; he had absolute power and his will was law." (Bryan 1927: 23; Field 1984: 23)

On May 18, 1942, the 3rd Marine Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General Charles D. Barrett, was firmly established on 'Upolu and Savai'i, with a strength of 4,853 officers and men. In a letter to Western Samoa's Administrator, Alfred Clarke Turnbull, General Barrett reported the Brigade's composition as follows: "On 'Upolu--Headquarters 3rd Marine Brigade, Service Company, 3rd Marine Brigade, 7th Marines, 1st Battalion 11[th] Marines, Company "C" 1st Tank Battalion, Company "C" 1st Medical Battalion, Seventh Defense Battalion, a Naval Construction Battalion and VS-1-14; On Savai'i--Company "G" Second Battalion 7th Marines, Detachment Company "C" First Medical Battalion, Detachment Headquarters Company 3rd Marine Brigade, Detachment Communications Platoon H&S Company 7th Marines, and a detachment of a naval unit." (Burke 1945c: 34-35)

On May 18, 1956, Jack Thompson, "The Throwin' Samoan," was born in American Samoa to parents Jack and Salamumu Thompson of Alao, Tutuila. On January 24, 1982, in Super Bowl XVI, quarterback Thompson of the Cincinnati Bengals became the first Samoan member of a Super Bowl team (although he did not play in Super Bowl XVI). (Thompson in Sutter 1989: 191; Wiebusch 1990: 250-262; 381)

May 19:

On May 19, 1909, August Nilspeter Gustav Nelson, founder of Samoa's Nelson family and father of Mau leader Olaf Frederick Nelson, died in Apia. (Theroux 1985; Warburton 1996: 61-62)

On May 19, 1914, the Bank of American Samoa was established by the Government of American Samoa. "The primary object was to induce the natives to save money; it also provides the community with the usual banking facilities." (Bryan 1927: 98)

May 20:

On May 20, 1874, at the conclusion of a two-week "Provincial Chapter" in Apia, "Sister Mary de la Misericorde, who had been the Superior for Samoa, was also confirmed as Principal Superior of all the islands of Samoa, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna." (Heslin 1995: 93)

On May 20, 1911, American Samoa's Governor, Commander William Michael Crose, issued his "Regulation No. 4-1911: Trespass of Pigs, Cows, Bulls or Calves and Removal of Walls Across Public Highways," which amended Governor E.B. Underwood's "Regulation No. 1-1904" of the same title. (Noble 1931: 20)

On May 20, 1936, Messrs. Alfred Matthes and Gerhard Stoeicht---German residents of Western Samoa---left Apia for Germany as Samoa's representatives to the Nazi Party's World Congress in Hamburg, Germany. (Burke 1945c: 116)

On May 20, 1941, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Raynsford Stark, directed the Commandant of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, Captain Laurence Wild, "to lay the net defenses of Pago Pago Harbor as soon as procurement of materials permitted." (Burke 1945b: 137)

On May 20, 1943, the U.S. Navy's 505th Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) relieved Companies A and B of the Seabees' 2nd Battalion on 'Upolu. The 505th assumed responsibility for maintaining existing facilities. They also operated the sawmill and built a few shop buildings. (Denfeld 1989a: 36)

On May 20, 1975, Mata'afa Faumuina Fiame Mulinu'u II, CBE, first Prime Minister of the Independent State of Western Samoa (1962-1970 and 1973-1975) died of a heart attack in Lepea, 'Upolu. (Eustis 1979: 205; Warburton 1996: 51)

May 21:

On May 21, 1908, Captain John F. Parker, U.S. Navy (Retired) relieved Commander Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, and became American Samoa's sixth naval governor (until November 10, 1910). (ASG: Governors' List; Bryan 1927: 53)

On May 21, 1931, Frederic DuClos ("Feleti") Barstow, a benefactor of American Samoan education, died in Honolulu. (Theroux 1985)

On May 21, 1969, Salanoa Aumoeualogo, President of American Samoa's Senate, sent a letter to John M. Haydon congratulating him on his appointment as Governor of American Samoa. (Haydon Papers, 1969: Box 1)

May 22:

On May 22, 1875, Malietoa Laupepa became "King" of Samoa under the new constitution, and Albert Barnes Steinberger was appointed Premier. (Gilson 1970: 318)

On May 22, 1901, on Tutuila, the U.S. Government purchased "Parcel No. 14: Milo Milo," totalling 0.29 acres, from the Paul H. Krause Estate for $2,104.15. (Anonymous 1960: 3)

On May 22, 1907, USS Annapolis replaced USS Adams as the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila's station ship. (Denfeld 1989: 11)

On May 22, 1915, the tugboat USS Fortune became the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila's station ship, remaining on station until 1925. (Denfeld 1989: 13)

On May 22, 1938, Pan American Airways' Frank McKenzie, "who had been in charge of building the bases at at Wake and Midway in 1935, was given the task of surveying Canton Island [in the Phoenix Islands] for Pan Am...He departed Pago Pago Harbor aboard the U.S.S. Ontario, a coal-burning tug stationed in American Samoa, for the three-day trip to Canton Island." (Krupnick 1997: 250)

On May 22, 1960, a tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake in Chile, caused considerable damage in Samoa. (Eustis 1979: 153-154)

May 23:

On May 23, 1900, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila Commandant Benjamin Franklin Tilley issued his "Regulation No. 7-1900: Marriage." This was subsequently amended on February 20, 1908 by Commander Charles Brainard Taylor Moore, on March 16, 1911 by Commander William Michael Crose, and on May 10, 1921 by Captain Waldo Evans. (Noble 1931: 64)

On May 23, 1930, there occurred the "Inauguration of electric light and power [at the Catholic seminary] in Moamoa," Western Samoa. (Heslin 1995: vi)

May 24:

On May 24, 1901, Commander Benjamin Franklin Tilley, Commandant of the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila, issued his "Regulation No. 4-1901: Registration of Deeds" and his "Regulation No. 5-1901: Registration of Mortgages, Bills of Sale, Etc., of Personal Property." (Noble 1931: 72)

On May 24, 1926, New Zealand's Governor General, Sir Charles Fergusson and Lady Fergusson visited American Samoa on Queen Victoria's birthday. (Thompson 1990: 15)

On May 24, 1944, the second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) completed her shakedown cruise at Hampton Roads, Virginia, sailed through the Panama Canal and thence to the South Pacific, where she served at Purvis Bay in the Solomon Islands, and then participated in the Allied advance to the Philippines. (Mooney VII, 1981: 367)

On May 24, 1945, the second USS Tutuila (ARG-4) arrived at the island of Leyte in the Philippines "and provided repair services there to a wide variety of ships and smaller craft from the date of her arrival until the end of hostilities." (Mooney VII, 1981: 367)

On May 24, 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Hyrum Rex Lee, a veteran administrator in the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, as American Samoa's seventh appointed civil governor (until July 31, 1967), succeeding Governor Peter Tali Coleman, who was the Territory's only appointed Samoan governor. Lee's first term was the longest of any of American Samoa's governors (civil or naval), and he served an additional half-year term (May 28, 1977-January 3, 1978), thus becoming the longest-serving appointed civil governor, and the only appointed civil governor to serve two non-consecutive terms. (ASG: Governors' List)

May 25:

On May 25, 1911, a Samoan Hospital Fund was created in American Samoa. Its sources were "small fees for medical services and operations at the Samoan Hospital, extra attendants, bed patients, and the sale of drugs purchased by the fund." (Crose 1911: 4)

On May 25, 1920, Mr. W.M. Green, Principal of American Samoa's Poyer School in Anua, "departed on account of the illness of his wife.... Mr. Green was succeeded by Chief Pharmacist Mate Spicer, United States Navy, who did splendid work." (Bryan 1927: 87)

On May 25, 1942, following successful negotiations with General Charles De Gaulle of the Free French, U.S. forces occupied Uvea in the Wallis Islands, which became part of the Samoan Defense Group. (Burke 1945a: 51)

On May 25, 1944, the Commander, South Pacific Area and Force, approved plans for the reduction of U.S. Naval and Marine Corps forces on 'Upolu. (Burke 1945c: 76)

On May 25, 1944, Commander Clark Daniel Stearns, American Samoa's ninth naval governor (July 14, 1913-October 2, 1914), died aboard a submarine chaser in Miami, Florida. His cause of death was listed as "coronary thrombosis (not enemy action)." (USNHC: Stearns RO)

On May 25, 1986, the Hokule'a, a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe built of fiberglass and other modern materials for the United States Bicentennial celebrations in 1976, was greeted in Pago Pago Harbor by "hordes of people." The Hokule'a and her crew of 18, led by navigator Nainoa Thompson, was on a 2 1/2-year "Voyage of Rediscovery," which took her to Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Tahiti. (Kaser 1986)

May 26:

On May 26, 1881, William Rea Furlong was born in Allenport, Pennsylvania. As the Head of the Policy and Liaison Section of the U.S. Navy's Office of Island Governments, Furlong accompanied the American Samoan Commission on its visit to American Samoa in September and October, 1930, serving as the Commission's naval adviser and paymaster. He subsequently became a Rear Admiral, and, as Commanding Officer of the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, was responsible for salvaging most of the ships that were sunk on December 7, 1941, repairing them, and sending them off to war. (Moore and Farrington 1931: passim; USNHC: Furlong RO)

On May 26, 1927, the Western Samoan Mau newspaper, the New Zealand Samoa Guardian, printed its first issue, with Edwin William Gurr as editor. (Theroux 1985c: 46)

On May 26, 1928, Arthur Braisby, Commander of Western Samoa's Civil Police, and Major Peter Bell of the Samoan Military Police arrested Mau member Leota Auese of Solosolo in Matautu-uta. The police claimed that they were attacked, but the injury statistics revealed that nine Samoans, and no police, were injured. (Field 1984: 125)

On May 26, 1938, Pan American's Frank McKenzie arrived at Canton Island, aboard American Samoa's station ship, the tugboat USS Ontario, to conduct a survey of the island for future use as a base for Pan Am's flying boats. He left Canton the next day, and arrived in Pago Pago Harbor on June 2. (Krupnick 1997: 250)

On May 26, 1969, the Apollo 10 spacecraft, with astronauts Thomas Stafford, Eugene Cernan and John Young aboard, splashed down east of Rose Atoll. (Theroux 1985)

On May 26, 1971, Captain Laurence Wild, American Samoa's 28th naval governor (August 8, 1940-June 5, 1942), died in Coronado, California. (USNHC: Wild RO)

May 27:

On May 27, 1942, a cargo ship carrying 300 tons of building supplies and equipment for the Navy's Mobile Hospital No. 3 ("MOB 3") arrived in Tutuila. 'Round-the-clock unloading required eight days. (Parsons 1945: 81)

On May 27, 1942, the first elements of the U.S. Marine Corps' 8th Defense Battalion, under the command of Colonel Raphael Griffin, departed Tutuila for duty in the Wallis Islands, aboard USS Harris and USS Zeilen. (Denfeld 1989: 35)

On May 27, 1977, Frank Barnett completed his term as American Samoa's 12th appointed civil governor (since October 1, 1976). (ASG: Governors' List)

May 28:

On May 28, 1894, Germany's Chancellor, Count Leo von Caprivi, told the German Ambassador to England, Count Paul von Hatzfeldt, that Samoa was "not worth a quarrel with England." (Morrell 1960: 302)

On May 28, 1904, USS Adams replaced USS Wheeling as station ship at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. (Denfeld 1989: 11)

On May 28, 1944, "daytime radio watches only were begun at Naval Advance Base, 'Upolu. The hours that watches were maintained were from 1800 to 0600 GCT. The radio personnel were reduced to two operators and one technician." (Burke 1945c: 79)

On May 28, 1977, Hyrum Rex Lee began his interim term as American Samoa's 13th (and last) appointed civil governor (until January 3, 1978). (ASG: Governors'List)

On May 28, 1992, the Peace Corps celebrated its 25th anniversary in Western Samoa with four days of festivities (until May 31, 1992). Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana hosted a fiafia for Peace Corps Director Ms. Elaine Chao at the Papauta Girls' School. The dancers were from the village of Saleimoa. (Sorensen: PR)

May 29:

On May 29, 1902, USS Wheeling replaced USS Abarenda as station ship at the U.S. Naval Station Tutuila. (Denfeld 1989: 5)

On May 29, 1929, American Samoa's Governor, Captain Stephen Victor Graham "published and exhibited at government offices" his regulation establishing "Fiscal Regulations of the Government of American Samoa." The subsections of this lengthy regulation were: "1. The Treasurer; 2. The Budget Board; 3. Revenues of the Government; 4. Deposits of Government Funds with the Treasurer; 5. Expenditures of Government Funds; 6. Special Deposits; 7. Unclaimed Wages and Outstanding Vouchers; 8. Government Purchasing Agent, and 9. Property Accounting, Government of American Samoa." (Noble 1931: 86-92)

On May 29, 1944, as World War II's Pacific battlefronts moved farther westward and northward, the Commander, South Pacific Area and Force instructed the Commandant, U.S. Naval Station Tutuila to "institute a program of redeployment of personnel and materials for use in forward areas." This program was completed on December 21, 1944. (Burke 1945b: 75 n.55)

On May 29, 1968, "Father Pio Taofinu'u [was] consecrated and installed Bishop of Samoa and Tokelau." (Heslin 1995: vii)

May 30:

On May 30, 1857, Henry Minett, American Samoa's third naval governor (acting: December 16, 1902-May 5, 1903) was born in Louisville, Kentucky. (USNHC: Minett RO)

On May 30, 1938, Commander Nathan Woodworth Post, American Samoa's eighth naval governor (acting: March 14-July 14, 1913 and October 2-December 6, 1914), died at the Mare Island Naval Hospital in California. His cause of death was recorded as carcinoma of the colon. Commander Post was the first naval governor to serve two non-consecutive terms. (The other one was Captain Gatewood Sanders Lincoln: August 2, 1929-March 24, 1931 and July 17, 1931 to May 12, 1932). (USNHC: Post RO)

On May 30, 1942, a board of officers from the Department of the Navy arrived to conduct an inspection of Tutuila. The senior member was the famed Antarctic explorer, Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd. (Morison IV, 1949: 263)

May 31:

On May 31, 1891, Mata'afa Iosefo "...established himself at Malie, the ancient home of the Malietoa family; and became an opponent of the Government," because Malietoa Laupepa had once again been declared "King of Samoa." Mata'afa, who held the Tui Atua title, had also held the Malietoa title during Laupepa's exile, and "was still seriously believed to be the Malietoa by a majority of the Malietoa electors." Furthermore, "Since the followers of the beaten Tui A'ana Tamasese secretly backed him as well, Mata'afa regarded himself as the closest possible approximation of a 'King of Samoa.'" (Bryan 1927: 35; Gray 1960: 93-94)

On May 31, 1942, Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd's board finished its inspection report, which stated that there were 7,995 Navy and Marine Corps personnel on Tutuila, plus 100 men in the Fitafita Guard. The report went on to say that Tutuila's defense force was strong enough to repel minor raids and landings, but not strong enough to thwart a major assault. (Morison IV, 1949: 263)


@ 2002