In 1907, at the command of President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy embarked on a round-the-world sabre-rattling cruise. The Great White Fleet was composed of 16 battleships, painted white, and crewed by 12,000 men. It signalled to the world that the U.S. was now a great power.
Richert, Lucas Paul. "U.S. Great White Fleet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5560, accessed 20 June 2013.]