May 19, 2024

Hankering for History

Hanker: To have a strong, often restless desire, in this case for–you guessed it–history!

A Big Day for Captains!

3 min read
Captain Jack

Captain Jack

In search for wonderful topics to write about, I noticed an interesting theme for October 3rd, throughout history. A LOT of Captains in history today. On this day (Oct 3rd), …

1778 – Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska.

Captain James Cook, a British explorer and Captain in the Royal Navy, found–what he named–Cook Inlet. This inlet would be later known as Alaska. Yes, the same Alaska that would become the 49th state of the United States of America. As you can see from the map below, Captain Cook was crucial to exploration of the Pacific Ocean, especially along the Bering Straight. So thanks for Alaska, Captain Cook!

James Cook's Three Voyages
Captain James Cook’s Three Voyages

1873 – Captain Jack and companions are hanged for their part in the Modoc War.

When I say Captain Jack, many of you probably assume I mean Captain Jack Sparrow, am I right?

Haha, incorrect. In fact, this Captain Jack is not a friendly, harmless Jack but a dangerous Jack. (To be fair, he was provoked and forced off his land.) Captain Jack was a Native American Modoc chief. In 1864, Captain Jack and his tribe were forced to leave their homes and move onto reservations. While on the reservations, the Modoc tribe was treated poorly and under the direction of Captain Jack, they left the reservation. In 1869, the United States Army rounded up the Modoc tribe and sent them back to the Klamath reservation. The following year, Captain Jack took a small band of warriors and again departed the reservation. The United States Army was sent after him (again) and unfamiliar with the terrain, the U.S. Army lost. After several years of cat and mouse and unsuccessful peace talks, the Modoc warriors became weary and pushed Captain Jack to take more offensive measures. They believed that if the leaders of the Army were killed, then the Army would simply leave them alone.

On April 11, 1873, Captain Jack and his men met with officials from the Federal Peace Commission. This meeting was set with the intention of murdering General Edward Canby. It goes without say that Captain Jack and his men killed General Canby and immediately General Jefferson C. Davis sent 1000+ troops to hunt the Modoc tribe down. (Just to clear any confusion, this is not the Jefferson Davis that was president of the CSA.) As the hunt ensued, several of the Modoc’s hunters were captured and eventually turned against Captain Jack and forced to hunt him down.

On June 1st, Captain Jack surrendered and turned himself in. He was sent to Fort Klamath and he, along with several others, were tried for the murder of peace negotiators. Found guilty, he was hung on this day, in 1873.

Captain Jack
Captain Jack

1890 – Captain Guillaume of Kerckhoven marches into Boma, Congo.

(This was on multiple “On This Day” sites. I found mention of Captain Guillaume in 1892, but unable to find information about 1890. If anyone could enlighten me about why this is important, or even show me a reference to this, I would appreciate it.)

1955 – “Captain Kangaroo” premieres on CBS-TV.

While I am too young to have much experience with Captain Kangaroo, I am aware of its sterling record. Captain Kangaroo, starring Bob Keeshan, is the longest-running nationally broadcast children’s television program of its day. This show ran for almost thirty years, with its last day being December 8, 1984. As another “On this Day” is that President Lincoln announced that on this day, in 1863, that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November, I find it relevant to add that the cast of Captain Kangaroo hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for several years in the 1960’s. Pretty impressive resume… Below is a clip of the show.