Samoa jumps the Date Line

After a year consisting of only 364 days, Samoa leapt into the future at the end of 2011. In a move designed to align the country more closely with its major trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region, this small island nation skipped westward over the International Date Line, effectively erasing Friday 30 December 2011 from the calendar. This was Samoa’s second jump in time: 119 years earlier, US traders persuaded local Samoan authorities to align their time with nearby American Samoa. However, as economic ties with Australia and New Zealand have increased, being almost an entire day behind has proved problematic. This latest hop meant that Samoa, and its tiny neighbour Tokelau, became the first countries in the world to ring in 2012 instead of the last. Everyone scheduled to work on the non-existent Friday was to be given full pay, according to a government decree.


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