US President George W Bush's trip to South-East Asia comes exactly 100 years after the first presidential overseas visit





130 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Teddy Roosevelt became the first president to travel outside the country while in office, visiting Panama to inspect the progress of building the strategically-crucial canal.

It seems extraordinary today that the "leader of the free world" should not venture abroad but, in November 1906, both the presidency and technology were hugely different from what they are today.

In 1906, just three years after the Wright brothers took to the sky at Kittyhawk, air travel was still in its infancy.

Steamships - stately, fabulously well-equipped but slow - were the preferred mode of travel for international statesmen, who communicated over the telegraph.



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