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. 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

Events in the Life of James Cook

  • 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)
  • 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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