In the United Kingdom, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Captain James Cook, the greatest explorer of the Pacific, has been marked with the opening of a museum devoted to his life.
In the United Kingdom, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Captain James Cook, the greatest explorer of the Pacific, has been marked with the opening of a museum devoted to his life. The museum was opened in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire on Friday (October 27) the actual anniversary of his birth. Cook, the son of a Scottish migrant agricultural worker was born in the little village of Marton, now part of the city of Middlesbrough.
SYNOPSIS: Cook, who did more than any explorer before him to map the Pacific, had humble origins. The museum stands near the cottage where he was born. It was opened by the British Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Terence Lewin.
Cook's first job was in a store in the town of Whitby, but he soon developed a love of the sea and, at 18, was apprenticed to a shipowner. By the age of 21 he was an able seaman. After eight years at sea, he was offered his first command, but instead joined the Royal Navy and soon saw action during the Seven Years War between Britain and France. It was later in his life that he was to begin the famous voyages of discovery that so expanded man's knowledge of the world.
The museum reflects the region's pride in being Cook's birthplace and home during formative years. Many displays concentrate on his youth and a heritage trail has been created in the district around Middlesbrough offering visitors the chance to survey places linked to his early years.
But for many, the most exciting section of the museum will be that dealing with Cook's three famous voyages of discovery on the Endeavour and Resolution during which he discovered many Pacific islands and found and charted the east coasts of New Zealand and Australia. It was during the third voyage that he was tragically killed during an argument with Hawaiians over a theft.