1728 — James Cook born

James Cook, better known to history as Captain Cook, was born in Yorkshire, the second of eight children. After a period of service and learning in the merchant navy, Cook joined the Royal Navy in 1755, and rose through the ranks to become Captain of his own ship. In this role, he would distinguish himself as one of the greatest navigators and surveyors the world has ever seen.

He is best remembered for his three voyages to the Pacific, where he lead missions that were the first Europeans to set foot on New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia, and the first people ever to cross the Antarctic circle, among other accomplishments. Even during his lifetime, Cook was so respected the world over that during the American Revolution, the rebel navy had orders not to fire on his ship, but to render him assistance as ‘a friend to all mankind’.

Referenced in:

The Miracle — Queen

1728 – Charles Mason born

Born some time in April of 1728, Charles Mason is probably best known as one of the two drawers of the Mason-Dixon Line separating Pennsylvania and Maryland. In his day, though, he was better known for his work for the Royal Society, including observing the Transit of Venus in 1761 (the first time he worked with Jeremiah Dixon), and most particularly, his long and ultimately successful struggle to perfect the Lunar Tables (which were used to determine the longitude of ships at sea).

Referenced in:

Sailing To Philadelphia — Mark Knopfler