In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt contrived a plan to send all 16 of America’s battleships -- his beloved Great White Fleet -- steaming around the globe, to prove that the U.S. was now a great maritime power. When word got out, Congress balked, threatening to withhold funds for what was regarded as a wasteful extravagance. Roosevelt responded that he already had the money he needed, adding: “Try and get it back!”
Theodore Roosevelt couldn’t wait to see combat. As war against Spain loomed and U.S. President William McKinley called for volunteers, Roosevelt ordered his uniform from Brooks Brothers and joined the army.