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Topics in Chronicling America - Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet”

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 and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of the Great White Fleet

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • July 1907: 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.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Roosevelt, Atlantic Fleet, battleship, cruise, Admiral Robley Evans, Pacific.
  • For articles relating to specific countries and cities that the Fleet visited, also include that country in your search. Countries and territories visited include Trinidad, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China, Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, and Gibraltar. The Fleet also traveled to Hampton Roads, VA, San Francisco, CA, Hawaii, and Washington State.
  • To narrow results, search between the dates July 1907 and February 1909

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  May 2, 2013
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