Group portrait of the Samoan American athletic club “Samoan Athletes in Action” at Scott Park in Carson, California. 1975.

Immigration of Samoans to New Zealand, Australia, and the United States accelerated during the 1950s. Western Samoa, with its historically close ties to New Zealand, sent a number of scholarship students to pursue college degrees in New Zealand. American Samoa saw many of its citizens enroll in U.S. military services. Others entered Catholic seminaries in the South Pacific and studied in Rome, while those who became local leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) traveled to Utah. All these experiences overseas encouraged growing numbers of Samoans to emigrate from Samoa to these distant countries.