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Medal - Visit of the US Fleet, Australia, 1908 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 13835

Heart-shaped bronze gilded medal featuring the crowned arms of Australia and the United States, shaking hands, flags and an eagle. Issued ot commemorate the visit of the US Fleet in 1908. The mint is unknown.

Huge celebrations surrounded the visit of the United States Navy to Australia in 1908. Prime Minister Alfred Deakin ignored Britain's concerns and established protocol when he invited the American fleet to visit. Sixteen warships arrived in Sydney harbour, welcomed by 80,000 spectators. Speeches were delievered, parties thrown and parades marched in honour of the occasion. As the fleet moved from port to port the welcome remained wildly enthusiastic. The visit was publicly associated with Australia's self-perception as a strong 'white' nation. The Lone Hand (20/8/1908) described the occasion: 'As a friendly hand across the Pacific comes to Australia - the Great White Fleet. In a flashing white it comes, as it were a symbol of a racial ideal to be upheld. Australia aspires but to hold her territory free and clean, in trust for the White Race. America's Pacific fleet helps to give us heart to hope that that ideal may be preserved.' The visit of the Great White Fleet was a significant because it linked Australia firmly with American power in the Pacific.
Heart-shaped bronze gilded medal with crowned arms of Great Britain over Arms of Australian States at centre, and eagle flying with wings spread at top, with hanging loop. Reverse features crossed flags of USA and Australia; shaking hands; and eagle flying with wings spread above shaking hands at top; small anchor at point.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 27 mm (Height), 22 mm (Width)
Weight: 4.96 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: great white fleet, international relations, united states fleet visit to melbourne 1908, united states navy, white australia policy, kangaroo, souvenir metal visit american fleet 1908, making history - white australia
Themes this item is part of: Cultural Diversity Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: military history
Series: Australian Commemorative Medals
DateEra: 1908 AD
Obverse Description: At top eagle flying with wings spread, at centre crowned arms of Great Britain over Arms of Australian States; around, AUSTRALIA'S CELEBRATIONS .1908.
Reverse Description: At top eagle flying with wings spread above shaking hands; at centre, crossed flags of USA and Australia; below 1908; around, WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN FLEET, small anchor at point
Edge Description: plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: around, 'AUSTRALIA'S CELEBRATIONS .1908.'

Reverse: below, '1908'; around, 'WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN FLEET'
Shape: shield
Material: Gilt
Issued By: Australia, 1908
References: Carlisle (1983), reference # 1908/11.

The Lone Hand (Sydney), 20/8/1908.

Forging the Nation: Australian War Memorial web site
  1. [Book], Leslie Carlisle, Australian commemorative medals and medalets from 1788, B & C Press, Sydney, 1983

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