Friday, October 14, 2016

History of Fleet Week

In 1935, San Diego hosted the first Fleet Week. Fleet Week was made to expand the US Navy, begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. An aircraft company was moving to San Diego, which then started Fleet Week.

At 11 a.m. On May 29, 1935, a color guard on the U.S. Marine Corps led a parade across Cabrillo Bridge where the U.S. flag was raised. At 8 p.m., Roosevelt said, "The decision of the people of San Diego thus to dedicate the California Pacific International Exposition is, I believe, worthy of the courage and confidence with which our people now look to the future. No one can deny that we have passed through troubled years. No one can fail to feel the inspiration of your high purpose. I wish you great success." 

In June 1935 during Fleet Week, 114 warships and 400 military planes came with US Navy Admiral Joseph M. Reeves, who is also the Commander-in-Chief  of the US Fleet Week. This Fleet Week included forty eight battleships, cruisers, and aircraft carriers. More than 3,000 commissioned officers and 55,000 enlisted men were there. The people of San Diego were allowed to be guests in those ships. 

It was common for U.S. Navy ships to dock in San Francisco. One of more of the shops were "visit ships" for tourists to board and the local community took in sailors for home visits. The name Fleet Week was applied to a more publicized visit in 1981. The celebrations were always on the second week of October.

-Sophia and Nicole