In 1900, Theodore Roosevelt wrote in a letter to a friend of the need to “speak softly and carry a large stick”. In 1909, that big stick returned home from a tour around the world. The Great White Fleet of the US Navy was sent on a 14 month journey which included many stops, the most important of which was Japan. Japan had defeated the Russian Navy in the Russo-Japanese War and had rising anti-American sentiment due to segregation policies in the California education system aimed at Japanese immigrants and a belief that Roosevelt, a moderator of the peace treaty between Russia and Japan, had shafted them at the negotiation table. One of the main motivations of the Great White Fleet was to show the Japanese that the US Navy could make the trip to the Pacific without going around the perilous Cape Horn and could therefore deal with any Japanese aggression. The tour succeeded in its main objective as well as had the unexpected consequence of helping improve Japanese perceptions of the United States through observing the reverent behavior of US Navy sailors. Perhaps this 1909 half eagle was present for the fleet’s welcoming home in Hampton Roads, Virginia.