"WAY BACK WHEN" WEDNESDAY - The Great Pacific Fleet Arrives!
It was definitely the biggest event of 1919 in Santa Barbara – 42 ships carrying 500 officers and 10,000 men anchored in the Channel this August and stayed here for five days. Each day, 1,500 sailors came ashore for some R&R.
Rarely had so many ships been seen in the Channel. The local paper wrote, "From early morning until late at night … the beachfront has been crowded with spectators fascinated with the picture of the men o' war and their speedy destroyer escorts stretching out in the Channel in an awesome line of steel. In addition, the passenger launches have carried many thousands of people to the various ships, where courteous officers and sailors have conducted them through the vessels."
It was definitely a great time for picture taking! Notice how Kodak was used as a verb a century ago. (Image: Los Angeles Herald, August 11, 1919)