On This Day

James Cook

Explorer James Cook

Profession: Explorer

United Kingdom

Why Famous: Cook explored thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe, surveying, recording and naming features for the first time.

This included large parts of the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.

He had a unique combination of seamanship, surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and leadership.

Born: October 27, 1728
Birthplace: Marton, Yorkshire, England
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: February 14, 1779 (aged 50)
Cause of Death: Killed in a fight with Hawaiians

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1762-12-21 British Explorer Captain James Cook marries Elizabeth Batts

Historical Events

  • 1768-08-25 Captain James Cook departs from Plymouth, England, on his first voyage on board the Endeavour, bound for the Pacific Ocean
  • 1769-10-08 Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand (Poverty Bay)
  • 1770-04-19 British explorer Captain James Cook first sights Australia
  • 1770-04-20 Captain James Cook arrives in New South Wales
  • 1770-04-28 British Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, lands at Botany Bay in Australia
  • 1770-06-11 Captain James Cook discovers Great Barrier Reef off Australia
  • 1770-08-22 James Cook's expedition lands on the east coast of Australia
  • 1771-07-12 James Cook sails Endeavour back to Downs, England
  • 1772-07-13 Captain James Cook begins 2nd voyage aboard the Resolution to the South Seas to search for Terra Australis (Southern continent)

  • 1772-10-30 Captain James Cook arrives with ship Resolution in Capetown
  • 1773-01-17 Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33' S)
  • 1773-12-18 A skirmish at Grass Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound results in the deaths of two Māori and nine members of James Cook's expedition, New Zealand
  • 1774-01-30 Captain James Cook reaches 71°10' south, 1820km from south pole (record)
  • 1774-07-17 Captain James Cook arrives in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu)
  • 1775-07-30 Captain James Cook with Resolution returns to England
  • 1776-07-11 Captain James Cook begins his third voyage
  • 1776-07-12 Captain James Cook departs with Resolution for 3rd trip to Pacific Ocean
  • 1776-11-30 Captain James Cook begins 3rd and last trip to the Pacific
  • 1777-12-08 Captain James Cook leaves Society Islands
  • 1777-12-24 Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook
  • 1778-01-18 Captain James Cook stumbles over Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands)
  • 1778-03-07 Captain James Cook 1st sights Oregon coast at Yaquina Bay
  • 1778-03-15 Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island discovered by Captain James Cook
  • 1778-03-22 Captain James Cook sights Cape Flattery, now in Washington state
  • 1778-08-09 Captain James Cook reaches Cape Prince of Wales, Bering Straits
  • 1778-10-03 Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska
  • 1778-11-26 British explorer Captain James Cook is the first European to visit Maui in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii)
  • 1779-01-17 Captain James Cook's last notation in Discovery's ship's log

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