Samoa Jumps Across the International Date Line

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Dec. 30 2011 5:05 PM

Samoa Skips Friday in Time Zone Jump

New Year's Eve comes early to Samoa this year. The South Pacific island nation skipped over Friday and went straight to Saturday this weekend as it leaps across the international date line. The line separates one calendar day from the next, and goes from the last country to ring in the New Year to the first. In 1892, the United States convinced Samoa to align their clocks to its time to aid trade with California. But that time zone put the island a day behind other countries close to it. Samoa's move will now put it on the same daily calendar page as its main trading partners, Australia and New Zealand. With more than 90 percent of Samoans emigrating to these countries, families can now celebrate important events such as birthdays at the same time. The island's government decreed that all those scheduled to work on the nonexistent Friday will be given full pay for the missed day of labor—a move likely to up the fun factor at this weekend’s parties. 

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