Almanac: Captain Cook

Almanac: Captain Cook
Almanac: Captain Cook 01:36

On October 27, 1728, James Cook was born in a small town in northern England. Apprenticed to a shipowner, he eventually joined the Royal Navy, and is remembered today as Captain Cook.

In a series of remarkable voyages, Cook explored the coasts of New Zealand and eastern Australia, visited Tahiti, and also landed in Hawaii, which he named the Sandwich Islands, after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich.

Hawaii, however, proved to be his undoing.

Local tribesmen killed Captain Cook in an altercation on February 14, 1779.

"Death of Captain James Cook," by George Carter (1783). Oil on canvas.  Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu

And, in a story fit for Halloween, the tribe then boiled his dismembered body parts and removed the bones.

Just to be clear, contrary to stories about cannibalism, Cook was NOT eaten.

And one more thing: Despite some speculation inspired by the similarity of names, there's no proof that "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie used Captain Cook as the model for Captain HOOK.

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Story produced by Charis Satchell.