San Diego did not easily become the home port of America’s Pacific fleet. It was two decades after the US acquisition of the Philippines, Guam, and Hawai‘i before a combination of imperialist naval strategy, Japanese expansionism, the Great White Fleet, unrest in Mexico and Central America, the completion of the Panama Canal, the Panama-California Exposition, a supportive congressman, and energetic civic leadership coalesced on the issue. Together, these factors led to the establishment of major naval facilities in this southern California city.

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