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Date: 1925
Medium: Glass plate negative
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00034716
Related Place:Bennelong Point, Farm Cove,

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    Description
    This image depicts workmen painting a welcome archway at the Man O' War steps near what was at the time, Fort Macquarie, and what is now the Opera House area at Bennelong Point, Sydney. On 23 July 1925, Sydney hosted eight of the US Navy Battle Fleet's largest ships, including USS CALIFORNIA, USS COLORADO, USS TENNESSEE, USS MARYLAND, USS WEST VIRGINIA, USS NEW MEXICO, USS MISSISSIPPI and USS IDAHO.

    Admiral Samuel Shelburne Robison was Commander-in-Chief of the Battle Fleet who, after the tour, succeeded Coontz as Commander-in-Chief of the US Fleet. The fleet departed for New Zealand on 6 August. Adelaide’s ‘The Register’ published his parting words:

    ‘It is with deep regret that I find the day for the departure of the Sydney detachment of the United States Fleet has arrived. No words can portray the feelings that surged within us when we saw the shores of your wonderful harbour, from the Heads to the anchorage, packed with welcoming throngs; and realised that it was all in honour of the flag under which we sail. Every moment since we passed under your symbolic welcoming arch, we have felt a true welcome magnificently expressed by the Commonwealth, the city, the surrounding communities, and the people individually.’

    The fleet departed for New Zealand on 6 August.
    SignificanceThis photograph is significant as a souvenir of the 1925 goodwill cruise of the United States Battle Fleet to Australia, which renewed the Australian-American alliance established by the Great White Fleet visit in 1908. The 1925 visit contributes to a long history of US Naval visits to Australian ports starting with the US Exploring Expedition in 1839-1840, followed by the 1908 visit of the Great White Fleet and later visits in the 1940s in the lead-up to World War II.
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