The date line dance came 119 years after U.S. traders persuaded local Samoans to align their islands’ time with nearby U.S.-controlled American Samoa and the U.S. to assist their trading with California.
But the time zone put Samoa and Tokelau nearly a full day behind neighboring Australia and New Zealand, which are increasingly important trading partners.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Happy New Years, Tokelau!
The nation of Samoa, and the US dependency Tokelau, are now west of the International Date Line rather than east. This means that they are now the first to see the new year, instead of the last. According to theWashington Post: