Samoa Is Going Time Traveling

Island will skip Dec. 30 to switch sides on international date line
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2011 4:49 AM CDT
Samoa's Going Time Traveling
Samoa is planning to move their calendar forward one day by moving across the international date line   (USGS, AP)

Despite an absence of muscle-bound cyborgs,the island of Samoa is going time traveling. But don't break out your old investment tables or racing forms just yet; it's just moving one day. After 119 years of being the last country in the world to see the sun set each day, Samoa will become one of the first to see the sun rise, jumping from Dec. 29 to 31 and, in the process, switching sides on the international date line, reports the Telegraph.

Samoa shifted back a day in 1892 to align the island with California traders to the east. But these days, Samoa's main trading partners are New Zealand and Australia; there are nearly as many Samoans in those two countries as there are in Samoa. "In doing business with New Zealand and Australia we're losing out on two working days a week," said prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. It's not the first big change Tuilaepa has brought to Samoa. In 2009 he changed the country's driving to the left side, also to better harmonize with Australia and New Zealand. (More Samoa stories.)

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