All students of Australian history will know that Cook used the racist legal principle of terra nullius - a Latin expression meaning land belonging to no-one - as the basis to make this audacious claim.
Unfortunately, historian Michael Connor has discovered that this is bunk. The legal profession, including perpetual sad guy and Mabo Judge, Sir William Deane were misled into believing terra nullius was "the basis of all land law in this country.”
As Connor revealed, in fact virtually nobody would have heard of the term before the swinging 1970s. Read what Cook actually wrote in his journal on that fateful day, here.
Cook quote: "Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again."