President Roosevelt visits Victoria

Plaque 61

Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his visit to Victoria on Sept. 30, 1937. Image A-00828 courtesy Royal B.C. Museum and Archives

Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his visit to Victoria on Sept. 30, 1937. Image A-00828 courtesy Royal B.C. Museum and Archives

At 12:30 PM on September 30, 1937 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the Untied States, docked at Ogden Victoria aboard the Destroyer USS Phelps. He was greeted by Lt. Governor Hamber and Premier Pattula, representing Prime Minister William Mackenzie King. The trio embarked via motorcade to Government House for lunch.

The Lt. Governor and FDR then took a tour of the city, arriving back at Ogden Point at 3:00 where the President boarded the Phelps to journey across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Angeles then on to spend the night at a lodge on Lake Crescent before touring the Olympic Peninsula.

USS Phelps (DD-360)

USS Phelps (DD-360)

USS Phelps (DD-360)

The USS Phelps was a World War II-era Porter-class destroyer named for Thomas Stowell Phelps, who was a Rear Admiral in the US Navy in 1884. Phelps was laid down 2 January 1934 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation’s Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts. She was launched 18 July 1935, sponsored by Mrs. Richard A. Kearny and commissioned 26 February 1936 with Commander Albert H. Rooks in command.

In November 1936 Phelps, along with the cruiser Chester, escorted the heavy cruiser Indianapolis carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the opening of the Inter-American Peace Conference of 1936. The cruise included good-will visits to Montevideo, Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.