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The Great Naval Parade at San Francisco

Date: 1908
Overall: 87 x 136 mm
Medium: Ink on paper, cardboard
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00015015
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This souvenir postcard was produced to commemorate the Great White Fleet world tour of 1907 - 1909. The postcard is titled 'The Great Naval Parade at San Francisco May 8, 1908'. The postcard features an image of sailors from the Fleet marching in a naval parade in San Francisco, with crowds of onlookers watching from both sides of the street. The Fleet began its tour on 16 December 1907 and after visiting several countries, it sailed up the west coast of America, stopping at various parts along the way during 1908.
    SignificanceThe visit of the American Great White Fleet in 1908 was an event of enormous proportions. Souvenir items such as this postcard demonstrate the excitement the visit generated amongst the Australian public. Memorabilia made to coincide with the occasion emphasised the mutual union between the countries and the good will of the Australian nation toward its American ally.
    HistoryIn 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.

    The Great White Fleet began its tour on 16 December 1907 from Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Fleet sailed to Trinidad, the British West Indies, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico before sailing up the West Coast of America. From 1 - 4 May, it visited Monterey, California before sailing to San Francisco, California where it berthed from 6 May - 7 July 1908. 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 the tour.
    Additional Titles


    Web title: The Great Naval Parade at San Francisco

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