“Education is always our priority and I am very excited that these much-needed funds will be made available immediately for us to keep our teachers in the classrooms working with our students, and also hire new teachers and essential staff to support this school year and our efforts to provide a good education and better schools for a strong future for our children,” said Governor Togiola. “This infusion of funds is quite significant and is a big boost to American Samoa for our current teachers as well as new teachers that will join our students in the classrooms across the Territory.
Early Western contact included a battle in the eighteenth century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, giving them a reputation for ferocity. The site of this battle is called Massacre Bay. Early nineteenth century Rarotongan missionaries to the Samoa islands were followed by a group of Western missionaries led by John Williams of the Congregationalist London Missionary Society in the 1830s, officially bringing Christianity to Samoa. In the second half of the 20th century, the Samoan Congregationalist Church became the first independent indigenous church of the South Pacific.
The Preserve America designation, announced by First Lady Michelle Obama in February 2010, is part of a 2003 White House initiative that encourages and supports a community’s efforts to preserve its cultural and historic heritage.