The islands of
Samoa are (west to east) Savai'i, Apolina, Manono, 'Upolu, Tutuila,
Anunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta'u. The group of islands is approximately
2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1,600 miles northeast of New
The islands have been in habited by Polynesians since
the 1st mellennium b.c.
In 1722 Jacob Roggeveen (1659-1729) of the Dutch West India Company,
with three ships, the Arend, the Thienhoven, and the Africaanshe
Galey, observed the islands from the ocean.
For a number of years Samoa was a German colony. In 1899
'Upolu became American Samoa, and the rest Western Samoa. Western
Samoa was ceded to New Zealand in 1914. It became independent in 1962,
and in 1997 changed its name to Samoa.
In 1972 Samoa issued a set of four stamps to
commemorate the 250th anniversary of Roggeveens Pacific voyage. On
the same voyage Roggeveen discovered Easter Island on April 5, 1722,