January 18, 1778James Cook is the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he names the "Sandwich Islands".
The 1778 arrival of British explorer James Cook was Hawaii’s first documented contact with European explorers. Cook named the islands the "Sandwich Islands" in honor of his sponsor John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. He published the islands' location and reported the native name as Owyhee. This spelling lives on in Owyhee County, Idaho, after three Hawaiian members of a trapping party killed in that area.
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November 24, 1642Abel Tasman becomes the first European to discover the island Van Diemen's Land.
Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to land on the shores of Tasmania. Landing at Blackman's Bay and later having the Dutch flag flown at North Bay, Tasman named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt in honour of Anthony van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies who had sent Tasman on his voyage of discovery in 1642. Between 1772 and 1798 only the South East of the island was visited. Tasmania was not known to be an island until Matthew Flinders and George Bass circumnavigated it in the Norfolk in 1798-99.
December 18, 1888
Richard Wetherill and his brother in-law discover the ancient Indian ruins of Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde.
The Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The structure built by the Ancient Pueblo Peoples is located in Mesa Verde National Park in their former homeland region. The cliff dwelling and park are in the southwestern corner of Colorado, in the Southwestern United States.
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March 6, 1521Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations. The island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agaña). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands.