Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pop History Moment: Cook Lands In Australia


On this day in 1770 Lieutenant James Cook, master of the HM Bark Endeavour, arrived at Kurnell, in Australia, renaming it Botany Bay. After eight days there Cook's expedition then continued northwards; before leaving to return to England in August 1770 he put ashore on Possession Island in the Torres Strait off Cape York, where he formally claimed the eastern coastline he had discovered for the British Crown, naming it New South Wales.

Yet Cook was far from the first European to visit Australia; it had been first sighted in 1606 by Dutchman Willem Janszoon. Cook's discovery didn't even guarantee European settlement would take there; it would be nearly 18 years before Captain Arthur Phillip founded Port Jackson at Botany Bay - now called Sydney Harbour - in January 1788.
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