Samoa officially the Independent State of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa and German Samoa), is a country governing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savai'i. The capital Apia and Faleolo International Airport are situated on Upolu. Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976. The entire island group, inclusive of American Samoa, was called Navigators Islands by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills.