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Offical reception for Admiral Sperry at the Domain

Date: 1908
Dimensions:
Overall: 350 x 480 mm
Sight: 275 x 405 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00050214
Related Place:Sydney,

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    Description
    This black and white photograph depicts the official reception of United States' Admiral Sperry, Commander of the Great White Fleet, to the Domain, Sydney. It was printed to commemorate the arrival of the Great White Fleet to Sydney in 1908 and was one of many cards made as souvenirs for the occasion.
    SignificanceThis photograph demonstrates the ceremonial procedures associated with the visit of the Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908. It is one of the many versions of postcards made to commemorate the American Great White Fleets visit.
    HistoryIn December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a 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.

    Admiral Charles Stillman Sperry was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1847 and graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1866. He served as President of the Naval War College and as rear admiral he attended the Geneva Convention and Second Hague Conference. He led the Great White Fleet for a major part of it voyage in 1907-1908. Sperry retired in 1909 and died in 1911.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Offical reception for Admiral Sperry at the Domain

    Assigned title: Photograph of US Great White Fleet at the Domain

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