Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Great White Fleet

The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of four squadrons of four battleships each, with their escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.

In the twilight of Roosevelt's administration, the president dispatched sixteen U.S. Navy battleships of the Atlantic Fleet and their escorts, on a worldwide voyage of circumnavigation from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909. With their hulls painted white except for the gilded scrollwork with a red, white, and blue banner on their bows, these ships would later come to be known as the Great White Fleet. The fleet was greeted with excitement around the world. In port after port, citizens in the thousands turned out to see and greet the fleet.

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