February 2 - 1709 - Alexander Selkirk is Rescued from Mas a Tierra
Alexander Selkirk was a Scottish sailor and privateer, who became notable first when he insisted on being let off on a remote island from his voyage, declaring that he believed the ship was dangerous. As soon as he saw the ship sail away from the island of Mas a Tierra, Selkirk regretted his decision. Nonetheless, Selkirk had to survive, using only the musket, knife, hatchet, clothing, and bedding he was left with by his former shipmates. He managed to hunt goats, build two cabins, and domesticate feral cats to chase away the rats. He stayed sane through reading the Bible and fit through hunting. Eventually, over four years after he was stranded, a British ship came to Mas a Tierra. Selkirk was overjoyed and joined the mission, not returning to Britian for another two years. Once he did, he was a celebrity, inspiring Daniel DeFoe to write Robinson Crusoe.