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Nevertheless, by the late nineteenth century, French, British, German, and American vessels routinely stopped at Samoa, as they valued Pago Pago Harbor as a refueling station for coal-fired shipping and whaling. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, and in doing so destroyed some American property.
Three American warships then entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. formally annexed its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago.
Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently.
Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa.
To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group.
While the two Samoas share language and ethnicity, their cultures have recently followed different paths, with American Samoans often emigrating to Hawaiʻi and the US mainland, and adopting many US customs, such as the playing of American football and baseball.
Samoans have tended to emigrate instead to New Zealand, whose influence has made the sports of rugby and cricket more popular in the western Samoan islands.
As of April 2019 the population of American Samoa is approximately 55,689 people.
Most of them are "nationals but not citizens of the United States at birth"; as well as birthright citizenship not applying on the islands, American Samoans cannot vote in the American Presidential elections.