A Samoan family. *Photo from Wikipedia
June 1 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Samoa from New Zealand in 1962.
The Samoan Islands were first settled some 3,500 years ago as part of the Austronesian expansion.
European exploration first reached the islands in the early 18th century. Louis-Antoine de Bougainville named them Navigator Islands in 1768. The United States Exploring Expedition (1838-42) reached Samoa in 1839. In 1855 J.C. Godeffroy & Sohn, a German trading company, expanded its trading business into the archipelago. The Samoan Civil War of 1886-1894 devolved into the Samoan crisis between colonial powers, followed by the Second Samoan Civil War of 1898-1899, which was resolved by partition of the islands in the Tripartite Convention (resulting in the formal partition of the Samoan archipelago into a German colony and a United States territory), between the United States, Great Britain and Germany.
After World War I, German Samoa became a Trust Territory and eventually became independent as Samoa in 1962.
Samoa lies south of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean.