There are precisely two entries under “21st Century” in the Wikipedia article about Samoa. One is about the country changing from driving on the right to the left in 2009. This goes against the trend somewhat, but it turns out that it’s easier and cheaper for them to import cars from (relatively) nearby Australia and Japan than from the Americas, so it made sense.
The other one is about today. Or rather, not today. Today… well, whatever the Cats server says over in Australia, I’m writing this on the 30th of December 2012, and I couldn’t have done that if I lived in Samoa. Today didn’t happen in Samoa.
The country straddles 180° longitude, and has up till now placed itself to the East of the International Date Line, on GMT-12. But, largely because of these same trade links with Oz and whatnot, it’s now on the West, GMT+12. So they skipped over the 30th of December. Perfectly simple, but the more I think about it the more my head hurts.
Trade, though: the two Interesting Things Samoa has done this century are both due to pressures of trade. I’ve categorized this under “Real Life” because that’s what trade is. All the other multifarious worries and panics of political types are nothing compared to where your stuff comes from and how much it costs. It’s a powerful thing that can erase entire days from the calendar.
Why they didn’t just wait until the 29th of February next year isn’t quite clear.
Update: Somehow I managed to turn commenting off. Fixed it.