100th Anniversary of Tour that Changed San Diego Forever

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Great White Fleet Arriving in San DiegoThe San Diego Union Tribune had a great article in Sunday’s paper noting the 100th Anniversary of the Great White Fleet’s visit to San Diego. I will note a few highlights but highly recommend you read the full article on the beginnings of San Diego’s ties to naval history that has forever shaped the character of our great city.

Have you ever wondered where the name Kettner came from when you travel down Kettner Boulevard near the San Diego Airport? William Kettner was an insurance salesman at the time of the Great White Fleet’s visit, who took a lead in organizing the festivities that left a lasting impression on the visiting naval crews and naval leadership back East. William Kettner took advantage of his increasing popularity to become a member of Congress, where he “successfully lobbied for the construction of bases that would later become North Island Naval Air Station, the Naval Training Center, San Diego Naval Medical Center, San Diego Naval Base at 32nd Street, the Navy Broadway Complex and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station”.

The USS Midway Museum will celebrate the anniversary with a historical photographic exhibition placed on the bow of the carrier showcasing San Diegos Navy heritage to civic, government, business and U.S. Navy leaders. Visit the USS Midway Museum web site for more information. The exhibit will be released this evening as part of a private ceremony.

Read more on the city’s lobbying efforts to ensure the Great White Fleet added San Diego as a port-of-call and wrestled away what was believed to be San Francisco’s superior advantage of becoming the major naval port of the West Coast.

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