In addition to being the 70th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, today also marks the anniversary of the sortie of the Great White Fleet.
Having rather unexpectedly gained an empire as a result of the 1898 Spanish American War, the US found itself a major player on the world stage. And President Roosevelt, eager to prevent any foreign adventures from nibbling at our fringes, decided to make an extraordinary display of American might. And so, the Great White Fleet set upon a journey literally around the world.
On this day in 1907, the main battle fleet set forth on a journey that would cruise 43,000 miles, touch upon six continents and last 14 months. The Great White Fleet truly marks the birth of the US Navy as one of the great fleets of the world, and emphasized the entry of the United States upon the world stage as one of the great powers.