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USS GEORGIA on Great White Fleet world tour

Date: 1907
Dimensions:
89 x 141 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00042627

User Terms

    Description
    This black and white photographic postcard depicts the USS GEORGIA underway on the Great White Fleet world tour. This starboard view depicts the GEORGIA in high seas.
    SignificanceAustralia welcomed the United States’ Great White Fleet tour in 1908 through the production of souvenir items such as this postcard, highlighting the excitement the visit generated within the Australian public. It is estimated that over 25% of the Australian population participated in some way in the public occasion which was celebrated in Sydney, Melbourne and Albany.
    HistoryUSS GEORGIA was a Virginia-class battleship built by Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine and launched into the American Navy on 11 October 1904. GEORGIA became part of the Atlantic fleet in 1907 after conducting its shakedown cruise. In 1907 GEORGIA took part in training target exercises, and was involved in an accidental explosion that killed ten men. In December 1907 GEORGIA joined the Great White Fleet on its world peace tour which was in operation until 1909. In took part in World War I acting as a receiving vessel for new naval recruits and was decommissioned on 15 July 1920, being sold for scrap in compliance with the Washington Treaty.

    In December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent the US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.

    Australia was not originally on the itinerary route of the Great White Fleet, who only decided to visit after receiving a direct invitation from the Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. One quarter of the Australian population, over one million people, saw the Great White Fleet during its three-week visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany. Public holidays were declared and enthusiastic crowds flocked to see the ships and parades. Vast arrays of souvenirs were produced for a population caught up in the euphoria generated by the Great White Fleet's world tour in 1908. Badges, medallions, pins, postcards and photographs all reflected the enthusiasm surrounding a potential new and powerful ally. The postcards typically represent America and Australia as cooperative partners and commonly depict national motifs including flags, emblems and banners.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: USS GEORGIA on Great White Fleet world tour

    Assigned title: USS GEORGIA

    Related People
    Photographer: C E Waterman

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