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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 4, 2003, 08:44
Samoa (Western Samoa until 1997, German Samoa from 1900 to 1914) is a country comprising a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean.
Settled as early as 1500 BC, Samoa was "discovered" by European explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago (see American Samoa).
Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, in August 1914, New Zealand sent an expeditionary force to seize and occupy German Samoa. This was to stop German Samoa being used a naval refueling base in the Pacific. The German forces on the islands did not surrender, nor did they put up a fight.
German Samoa was renamed Western Samoa, New Zealand continued the occupation of Western Samoa throughout World War I. In 1919, under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany dropped its claims to the islands and they were granted to New Zealand as a mandate.
New Zealand administered Western Samoa under the auspices of the League of Nations and then as a United Nations trusteeship until the country received its independence on January 1, 1962 as Western Samoa, making it the first Polynesian nation to reestablish independence in the 20th century.
Click here for the full Wikipedia article.