1776Two events destined to change the history of the world took place the first week of July 1776.
On the fourth day of July, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general congress assembled at Philadelphia, declared their independence from Great Britain, setting out upon a course of constitutional government which carry a new concept of personal and political freedom from the east of North America to the western shores of the continent.
In the same July week, Captain James Cook, Royal Navy, took command of two ships in Plymouth Harbor, England. He sailed forth with orders to chart the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean and to find a northwest passage from Europe to Asia around the top of the western hemisphere.
His voyages of discovery and scientific survey ranged from the Antarctic to Australasia; from South Seas and Hawaii to Arctic Alaska. Captain Cook opened the world to the Pacific to the modern ear of global navigation and commerce.
1778On the first day of June, having sailed north along the American coast in search of the Northwest Passage, the ships "Resolution" and "Discovery" commanded by Captain Cook, lay at anchor in the bay below.
Having charted the waters and coast of the main channel, Captain Cook dispatched two boats to examine the arm leading toward the east, and calling it River Turnagain, convinced now that no passage to the Atlantic existed here.
Documents claiming possession of the land in the name of the king, together with some coins, were sealed in a bottle and buried at Point Possession, 20 miles south of this park on Kenai Peninsula.The majestic waterway, stretching from this point 150 miles to the open sea, was chosen by the admiralty to commemorate England's greatest navigator, and thenceforth bears the name Cook Inlet.
Anchorage Bicentennial Commission