Looking back: A brief history

Independence Day is a significant public holiday in Samoa. It is celebrated on June 1 every year. This is the day when the country achieved its independence in 1962 when the command of New Zealand over Samoa ceased.

Samoan Independence 

Day Celebrations

Independence Day in Samoa is observed throughout the country. It is a major occasion in the country. The formal celebrations begin with the flag hoisting ceremony. 

Samoan Independence Day is also observed by the Samoan communities in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and other states in the U.S. 

Major events include devotional church service, National Orchestra Choir, Ministry of Police and Prisons Choir, march past, delivery of independence anniversary speech by the head of the state, gun salute, and traditional entertainment including song and dance. 


On January 1 1962, Western Samoa achieved its independence from New Zealand. Nevertheless, this day is observed on June 1 and is still acknowledged by the Samoan society in New Zealand. These people deck themselves up for the event and take part in various cultural and musical programs. 

Samoa was first discovered by the Dutch voyagers in the 18th century. Subsequently, it was explored by the French and British settlers. In 1847, a consular office was inaugurated in Apia. 

In 1853, the United States and in 1861, Germany/Prussia opened a consular office at the same place. On November 2, 1871, the Government of New Zealand advocated the takeover of the Samoa Islands by Britain.

In August 1873, the Central Government in the country was inaugurated. On January 21, 1879, Germany was offered the marine base of Saluafuta. In 1884, the King and Vice-King of the country urged Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom to transform it into a British settlement. 

On July 14, 1889, the archipelago was converted into a trilateral British-German-U.S. territory. On June 10, 1899, a provisional administration was established comprising the consulates of the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. In 1900, the group of islands barring American Samoa was taken over by Germany. 

It was subsequently invaded by New Zealand. According to the League of Nations directive enforced by the Government of New Zealand on December 17, 1920, the name of the country was changed to Western Samoa. 

It was switched into a United Nations trust territory on January 25, 1947 and achieved its independence from New Zealand on January 1, 1962. In this way, the Independent State of Western Samoa was formed.

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