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Souvenir postcard the Evening News

Date: 1908
Overall: 95 x 137 mm, 0.002 kg
Medium: Ink, card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Vaughan Evans
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00016794

User Terms

    This souvenir postcard features an article about the arrival of the American Great White Fleet to Sydney, Australia in 1908, depicting the US battleships LOUISIANA and KANSAS. It was taken from the 'Evening News' edition printed on Thursday 20 August 1908. The arrival of the American peace time tour was a highly anticipated event in Australia and became the focus of great public celebration. The fleet's visit to Sydney, Melbourne and Albany was the direct result of an invitation from Australia's Prime Minister Alfred Deakin to American President Teddy Roosevelt.
    SignificanceThis postcard is representative of the production of souvenir items for the American Great White Fleet's peace time world tour in 1908. It highlights the importance of the visit to the Australian public and the events coverage in press articles at the time.
    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.

    The USS KANSAS was a Connecticut class battleship launched on 12 August 1905. After its shakedown cruise KANSAS took part in the Great White Fleet tour from 1907 to 1909 visiting 26 countries across the world. It visited countries including France, England, Norway, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico and Haiti during service. In World War I KANSAS operated as a training vessel. It was decommissioned on 16 August 1921 and sold for scrap.

    The USS LUOISIANA was a Connecticut class battleship launched on 27 August 1904. It was involved in operations in Cuba and the Panama Canal before taking part in the 1907 to 1909 Great White Fleet tour. LOUISIANA's later career was spent in the north Atlantic and waters around Mexico. During World War I the battleship was active in the Atlantic between Canada and France. It was decommissioned on 20 October 1920 and sold for scrap.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Souvenir postcard the Evening News


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