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US battleship KEARSAGE

Date: c 1908
Dimensions:
Overall: 88 x 139 mm
Medium: Paper, inks, light card, silver gelatin emulsion layer
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00003257

User Terms

    Description
    The US battleship KEARSAGE is depicted in this photograph. Postcards like this provided popular souvenirs for the American Great White Fleets visit to Australia in 1908. Similar versions were made featuring all 16 battleships that formed the American fleet.
    SignificanceAustralia welcomed the United State’s Great White Fleet in 1908 through the production of souvenir items such as this postcard, which demonstrates the excitement the visit generated in the Australian public.
    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.

    USS KEARSAGE was commissioned into the US Navy on 20 September 1900 and was made flagship of the North Atlantic Station. In this role KEARSAGE was involved in operations in Cuba and the Mediterranean. From 1907 to 1909 KEARSAGE was active in the Great White Fleet goodwill tour. During World War I the vessel was used as a training ship and in World War II conducted support services. It was sold for scrap on 9 August 1955.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: US battleship KEARSAGE

    Primary title: US battleship KEARSARGE

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