Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet”: Topics in Chronicling America
In December 1907, Theodore Roosevelt dispatched sixteen fleets of battleships on a 14-month world tour. This guide provides access to material related to the "Great White Fleet" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
On the warm, cloudy morning of December 16, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet," a force of sixteen battleships bristling with guns and painted sparkling white, steam out of Hampton Roads, Virginia to begin its 43,000-mile, 14-month circumnavigation of the globe "to demonstrate to the world America's naval prowess." The four-mile-long armada's world tour included 20 port calls on six continents, and is widely considered one of the greatest peacetime achievements of the U.S. Navy. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
President Theodore Roosevelt commissions sixteen new battleships from the U.S Atlantic Fleet to make a voyage around the world to the Pacific.
December 16, 1907
The Atlantic Fleet leaves Hampton Roads, VA headed towards South America. The fleet stops in Trinidad, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Mexico before returning to the U.S.
May 7, 1908
The Fleet arrives in San Francisco, CA.
July 7, 1908
The Fleet departs San Francisco bound for eastern Asia. It stops in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, and China.
December 1, 1908
The Fleet leaves the Philippines, stopping in Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, and Gibraltar before returning to the U.S.
February 22, 1909
The Fleet arrives in Hampton Roads, VA, completing its voyage.