Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, having formed an estimated 5 million years ago. Historians believe that Polynesian adventurers completed an approximate 2,000 mile ocean adventure on outrigger canoes and first landed on the Big Island of Hawaii about 1,500 years ago. The original Hawaiians lived undisturbed for approximately 500 years until more ocean adventurers arrived from the island of Tahiti. Kauai was the last of the islands to join the other islands and rule of King Kamehameha. Kamehameha failed to attack and take over Kauai twice, once due to storm, and another time due to an epidemic. Eventually though, King Kaumualii of Kauai agreed to peacefully join Kamehameha and the Hawaiian Islands were then united under one kingdom. European explorers and traders did not discover the islands until 1778, when Captain James Cook landed on Big Island. Whaling, sugar cane, pineapples, missionaries, military positioning, and of course tourism all contributed to Hawaii ultimately joining the United States as the 50th state in 1959.