Michael J. Kirwan Educational Television Center home of the American Samoa Government television station KZVK.
(Photograph courtesy of Archaeological Consultants of the Pacific).

Michael J. Kirwan Educational Television Center Building.

This building was constructed in 1963 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was part of an large educational television effort that was brought to American Samoa in the 1960s and is discussed in the book, "Bold Experiment: The History of Educational Television in American Samoa" by Wilbur Lang Schram, Lyle M. Nelson and Mere T. Betham. This building houses the television studios and department of education offices that were central to the 1960-70s educational television effort which attempted to overhaul and modernize education in American Samoa through the introduction of an extensive educational television program which at the time was the largest in the world. With this new program, lessons would be televised and would be "capable of reaching even the most remote villages of the six islands of American Samoa, along with parts of Western Samoa" (Schram, Nelson & Betham 1981:44). This program had a major impact on Samoa in areas outside of education, as it "represented the first introduction of modern technology on a broad scale...made necessary the extension of electrical service throughout the islands...opened opportunities in building construction [for new schools] as well as having significant repercussions on fa'aSamoa by exposing it to new customs and traditions of the outside world (ibid 1981:68). While this site is less than fifty years old, it played an important role in the history of the Twentieth Century Samoa.