Tokyo, Japan (JFK+50) Commodore Matthew C. Perry* sailed his fleet of four ships into Tokyo Harbor on July 8, 1853 in hopes of gaining an audience with Japanese officials.
After some behind the scene negotiations, the Japanese government agreed to meet with Commodore Perry. This marked the first time in 200 years that the Japanese opened up a relationship with a western nation.
*Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) was born in Newport, R.I. & received a midshipman's warrant in the US Navy in 1809. MCP commanded ships in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West at the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854. The Commodore is known as the Father of the steam navy of the U.S.