Captain James Cook

In 1778 Captain James Cook, commanding the HMS Resolutions, became the first European to begin formal contact with the Hawaiian Islands and its people. Captain James Cook returned to Hawaii in 1779 after a trip to the Bering Strait, making landfall at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii island. There is a monument erected to mark the location of his arrival and death. After a misunderstanding between the crew of the HMS Resolution and the Hawaiians, Captain Cook was killed after trying to take King (Ali’i Nui) Kalani’opu’u prisoner. Captain James Cook’s arrival marked the beginning to the gradual end of Hawaii’s sovereignty.

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