Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So, it's 09 again...

I was looking through some information about President Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919). When I came across a couple of interesting little side notes about the year 1909.

In 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, the United States was propelled into the arena of international affairs and gained status as a world power, with the acquisition of the Philippines and Guam in the Pacific, then Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.
Because of this Roosevelt wanted to show the world the power of the U.S. Navy. The Great White Fleet's voyage around the world's oceans had never been attempted by any navy at that point in history and was seen as a great accomplishment for the new world power.The Great White Fleet would finished its' circumnavigation of the world by returning to Hampton Roads, Virgina in February 1909, a hundred years ago this year.

President Roosevelt speaking to sailors at Hampton Roads, Virgina.

Four squadrons of warships sailed the oceans for a fourteen-month long voyage was a grand pageant of American sea power. The squadrons were manned by 14,000 sailors. They covered some 43,000 nautical miles (80,000 km) and made twenty port calls on six continents. The fleet was impressive, but already the battleships were technically outdated.

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