In 1962 American Samoa Governor H. Rex Lee, declaring the school system dysfunctional, commissioned The National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB) to design and manage a modern replacement utilizing revolutionary educational television technology. The resulting system became the jewel in Lee’s revitalization of the territory’s infrastructure and attracted international attention.

But following Lee’s departure new Governor Owen S. Aspinall intervened in the system’s budget and operations to a degree that became increasingly untenable, causing NAEB to sever all ties to Samoa.

NAEB resignation in a letter detailing numerous instances of inappropriate and unethical gubernatorial behavior. Signed by NAEB President William Harley, it was hand-delivered to Governor Aspinall by NAEB’s Jim Fellows on February 17, 1969, with copies sent to leaders in the Samoan legislature, the U. S. Congress, and the White House.

Click here to view the full text of the NAEB letter.


–David Gillmore

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