19 April 1770

Captain James Cook sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia.

On April 19, 1770, Captain James Cook spotted and claimed the East Coast of Australia

Cook was born in north-east England in 1728, and in his late teens, he worked on ships along the English coast and the Baltic Sea.

In 1755, he joined the navy, seeing action in Canada and surveying the St Lawrence River, which resulted in the British capture of Quebec.

On 26 August 1768, The HMB Endeavour set sail from England’s Plymouth Harbour, under the command of Captain Cook, an accomplished surveyor, astronomer and navigator.

The ship’s crew was instructed to make for Tahiti, where they would observe and record the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun.

Cook also carried additional instructions from the Admiralty ordering him to explore the Southern Ocean in search of Terra Australis incognita – the unknown southern land.

After the war, Cook’s skills were put on further display when he mapped the coast of the Canadian island of Newfoundland.

Under commission from the Royal Society, the Endeavour entered the South Pacific via Cape Horn, reaching Tahiti in April 1769 where the crew observed the transit of Venus on 3 June.

7 July 1770

The Battle of Larga is fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

Torelli2

Russo-Turkish wars, series of wars between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the 17th–19th century. The wars reflected the decline of the Ottoman Empire and resulted in the gradual southward extension of Russia’s frontier and influence into Ottoman territory. As a result of these wars, Russia was able to extend its European frontiers southward to the Black Sea, southwestward to the Prut River, and south of the Caucasus Mountains in Asia.

The early Russo-Turkish Wars were mostly sparked by Russia’s attempts to establish a warm-water port on the Black Sea, which lay in Turkish hands. The first war was fought without success in Ukraine west of the Dnieper River by Russia, which renewed the war with failed invasions of Crimea in 1687 and 1689. In the war of 1695–96, the Russian tsar Peter I the Great’s forces succeeded in capturing the fortress of Azov. In 1710 Turkey entered the Northern War against Russia, and after Peter the Great’s attempt to liberate the Balkans from Ottoman rule ended in defeat at the Prut River, he was forced to return Azov to Turkey. War again broke out in 1735, with Russia and Austria in alliance against Turkey. The Russians successfully invaded Turkish-held Moldavia, but their Austrian allies were defeated in the field, and as a result the Russians obtained almost nothing in the Treaty of Belgrade.

The first major Russo-Turkish War began after Turkey demanded that Russia’s ruler, Catherine II the Great, abstain from interfering in Poland’s internal affairs. The Russians went on to win impressive victories over the Turks. They captured Azov, Crimea, and Bessarabia, and under Field Marshal P.A. Rumyantsev they overran Moldavia and also defeated the Turks in Bulgaria. The Turks were compelled to seek peace, which was concluded in the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. This treaty made the Crimean khanate independent of the Turkish sultan; advanced the Russian frontier southward to the Southern Buh River; gave Russia the right to maintain a fleet on the Black Sea; and assigned Russia vague rights of protection over the Ottoman sultan’s Christian subjects throughout the Balkans.

16 May 1770

The 14 year old Marie Antoinette marries 15 year old Louis-Auguste who later becomes king of France.

In 1768, Louis XV dispatched a tutor to Austria to instruct his grandson’s future wife. The tutor found Marie Antoinette “more intelligent than has been generally supposed,” but added that since “she is rather lazy and extremely frivolous, she is hard to teach.” Marie Antoinette was a child of only 14 years, delicately beautiful, with gray-blue eyes and ash-blonde hair. In May 1770, she set out for France to be married, escorted by 57 carriages, 117 footmen and 376 horses.

Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste were married on May 16, 1770. The young woman did not adjust well, however, to a married life for which she was obviously not ready, and her frequent letters home revealed intense homesickness. “Madame, my very dear mother,” she wrote in one letter, “I have not received one of your dear letters without having the tears come to my eyes.” She also bristled at some of the rituals she was expected to perform as a lady of the French royal family. “I put on my rouge and wash my hands in front of the whole world,” she complained, referring to a ritual in which she was required to put on her makeup in front of dozens of courtiers.