Great White Fleet events set for PA, PT

The year was 1907, and a young nation that almost a decade earlier had taken over the remnants of the Spanish empire in the Caribbean and South Pacific was flexing its muscles.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was sending 16 Navy battleships, eight cruisers, seven destroyers and nine support ships — dubbed The Great White Fleet — to circumnavigate the globe in a show of strength.

The voyage, which lasted from Dec. 16, 1907, to Feb. 22, 1909, featured stops in six Puget Sound cities — both Port Angeles and Port Townsend, as well as Seattle, Bremerton, Bellingham and Tacoma

May 17 marks the centennial of the departure of the 16 battleships from San Francisco, headed for Puget Sound on the second of the voyage’s four legs.

On Saturday, Navy League Councils will present special Great White Fleet Centennial plaques to the mayors in each of the Puget Sound cities visited by the fleet.

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