February 22 - 1909 - The Great White Fleet Returns to America

The Great White Fleet was an embodiment of President Theodore Roosevelt's idea of "Speak softly, but carry a big stick." The large fleet of US Navy battleships, along with numerous escorts, went around the entire globe, sailing into numerous foreign ports and working on open-ocean maneuvers. This made it an extension of US military prowess and industrial capability, while also being an envoy of peace. Every ship of the fleet was painted white, which signalled to foreign nations that the ships were not at war and gave the fleet its name. Remarkably, few problems befell the fleet along its year-plus journey, and the fleet was greet enthusiastically in almost every port it stopped in. Yet the voyage revealed real problems with US naval construction and US Navy practices, all of which would be handled in the immediate aftermath of the Great White Fleet's return.

William Floyd