Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in New York City during the Great Depression. Aerial view of New York City as a plane flies by and clouds part to show Manhattan island below. Buildings and skyscrapers of New York City as seen from river and harbor views, with some ships and tugboats seen. Trucks on roads of Governor's Island at tip of Manhattan. An older home seen under renovation and reconstruction. View of the Brooklyn Navy Yard with WPA workers busy building and improving new roads and shops and warehouses near the docks. A bulkhead construction project is shown at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, to reclaim land from the waters of the Bay. The work includes construction of a new Boulevard and sanitary and sewer system improvements. View of the front entrance of the Beaux Arts style Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green at the tip of Manhattan. Pedestrians and WPA workers are seen in front of the building. WPA laborers on an unidentified Manhattan street (with elevated railway running in background) are busy removing old street car rail lines from the streets, in sections, and loading them into truck beds to haul away. Large public swimming pool and bath house construction projects are shown, influenced by city planner and avid swimmer Robert Moses (scene possibly shows McCarren Park pool - note archway seen under construction). WPA workers are seen building the new East River Drive, including highways, walks, and flanking parks. Construction workers seen building the roadway, with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background. A model of the project is shown with the new drive from Grand Street to 14th Street. Camera pans down from the Empire State Building to show the roof of the New York Public Library teeming with WPA workers as they remove the old corroded copper roof and replace it with a new metal roof. View of busy Manhattan streets below the workers, including a street car passing by.
A train engine explodes in Alexander, New York. Damaged remains of a cattle train after its engine exploded. The parts of the damaged train spread in an area as men look on. The explosion kills three crew members. Men handle cattle. A cow being lifted off by a crane from the damaged train.
Crowd cheers and waves during New York Yankees and New York Giants game in the 1936 World Series at Polo Grounds IV in Manhattan, New york. Yankee manager, Joe McCarthy and Giants manager, Bill Terry on the field and they shake hands. Governor of New York State Herbert H. Lehman throws out first pitch, with Mayor La Guardia beside him. Babe Ruth, guest of honor, watches the match. Crowd cheer as the game proceeds. In next segment: Grover Whalen, President of New York World's Fair Corporation points out highlights of 1939 New York World's Fair on a preliminary model with the help of a stick, for visiting dignitaries. Footage from a September 1961 newsreel hightlighting stories from 25 years earlier.
Telephone line construction between New York and San Francisco in the United States. A picture of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell talking into a telephone while opening the New York-Chicago telephone line on October 18, 1892. Several men standing beside Dr. Bell. A donkey with a saddle on it. A man loading the donkey with devices. The man leading the donkey which is carrying the devices to be fitted on a telephone post in a hilly area. Several men erecting telephone posts while laying lines joining New York and San Francisco to the Bell System in 1915. View of a bear climbing down a telephone post. A picture of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell attending the opening of the transcontinental telephone line in New York on January 25, 1915. Several AT&T executives sitting on both sides of Dr. Bell. Dr. Bell repeated the historic first sentence transmitted on March 10, 1876, "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you", on the telephone to Mr. Watson in San Francisco. A picture showing Thomas A. Watson, Dr. Bell's assistant in 1876, at the opening of the transcontinental telephone line. Mr. Watson replied to Dr. Bell, "It would take me a week this time, Dr. Bell".
A newsreel titled "Universal five wins Olympics basketball final" shows a game between the company team from Universal Pictures and the McPherson Globe Refiners from Globe Oil and Refining Co. of McPherson, Kansas. The McPherson team is sometimes also referred to as the Oilers, or the Refiners. The teams are seen playing in the Olympics Qualifying basketball final in New York's Madison Square Garden. People cheer the two teams. Universal defeats the McPherson Globe Refiners to win the Olympics final. The win entitled the Universal Pictures team to name 7 players to the Olympic basketball team representing the United States in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin Germany, and McPherson Globe Refiners was able to name 6 players to the team. These two teams beat out five U.S. college teams to earn the spots in the final and determine the makeup of the U.S. Olympic Basketball team. Players in the game in this video clip include Globe Refiners forward Francis Johnson, Centers Willard Schmidt and Joe Fortenberry, and Universal forward Carl Knowles. Universal beat the Globe Refiners by a score of 44 to 43. According to a Time Magazine article of April 13, 1936, the Globe Oil & Refining team, "...have perfected a technique called dunking with which they score by jumping up above the basket, dropping the ball into it." This may be one of the earliest references to dunking, now a staple technique in basketball. The same Time article further stated of the Oilers, "On the defense, they prevent opponents from scoring by batting the ball out of the basket." Again, the Globe Refiners were demonstrating play that later became standard in modern basketball. The idea for the Globe Refiners was a company promotion scheme, thought up in 1934 by Gene Johnson, the Sales Manager of Globe Oil who had several years experience coaching basketball. The Olympic team also included Washington State Huskey player Ralph Bishop. The USA went on to win the gold, defeating Canada 19-8.
Belle Bart, famous astrologer at desk in her office, New York, USA. She speaks on her predictions for the Year 1936. She reminds viewers of her predictions for the year 1935. She says that the period of prosperity will extend from 1936-1943. She further says that although war is imminent in the far East, and that some nations will become eclipsed during this period, the general trend through 1943 will be "happiness and prosperity for all."