Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. Eleanor Roosevelt Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Bibliography | Primary Sources

Walter LaFeber : The Importance of San Francisco
Walter LaFeber The importance of San Francisco is that it is the port that Americans used to get into the Western Pacific and Asia. It is a northern port and what Americans do is discover very quickly that the quickest route to China is north, around Alaska and down the Japanese coast and into China. It's not across Hawaii and Guam. So San Francisco becomes essentially the port of, exit for American goods. It is also the port of exit for American troops. When McKinley finds out that Admiral Dewey has defeated the Spanish fleet, and he hasn't even received official news of it yet; he's only received rumors that Dewey has done this; he immediately orders 5,000 troops out of San Francisco to go to the Philippines. And San Francisco becomes again the pivot for American empire in the Pacific, the place that Americans look at as our entry point into Hawaii or north into Alaska and then to China market.

back to Interview Transcripts

Interview Transcripts | Primary Sources | Bibliography

Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference

The Film & More | Special Feature | Timeline | Maps | People & Events| Teacher's Guide