Opening scene shows U.S. State Department officials of the Division of the American Republics in a meeting. They examine a map titled "Inter-American Highway" showing a proposed highway running from the border of the U.S. and Mexico at Laredo Texas, all the way through Mexico, Latin America, and into South America. View of South American farmers loading hay into a horse cart, then of cattle in a stockyard being herded by a cowboy on a horse. Aerial view of city of Rio de Janeiro Brazil circa 1938. Narrator discusses threat of dictatorships in countries of South America. Views of German ships and German contracted ships loading and unloading at Buenos Aires harbor. Narrator describes system of barter where Argentina sends goods to Germany in exchange for German-made goods. Swastika flag on one of the cargo ships. Dock crane with German sign "Deutsche Maschinenfabrik A.G. Duisburg". Letters on side of a ship reads 'Buenos Aires Maru'. Supplies unloaded from ship. Cargo stacked including wooden boxes with German writing labeled "Vorsicht - San Paulo Brasilien". In a Latin American or South American city, view of the storefront for luxury goods by Herm Stoltz & Co. A Nazi German flag hangs above the store entrance. Fine leather goods, cameras, figurines, steins, etc from Germany are shown in store window displays. View of Nazi German books on display in storefronts, including closeup of translated book "Mein Kampf" ("Mi Lucha") by Adolf Hitler, bearing an image of Hitler on front cover. A German passenger aircraft parked at an airfield, which narrator describes as being part of a German airline offering service to South America within two days of Berlin, Germany. More German airplanes are shown at an airport in South America. View of government offices in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Large crest with a bird atop an entrance. Interior office view of President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil seated in discussion with American diplomats. Narrator indicates that Vargas learned of German colonists in Brazil planning his overthrow by assassination, and therefore outlawed all Nazi activity. Poster of Vargas communicating his policies. Scene switches to exterior view of the State, War, and Navy Building (later the Executive Office Building) in Washington DC, with the First Division Monument in the foreground. Interior view of office door bearing sign for Under Secretary of State. Inside, Sumner Welles is seen in discussion with officials. He is asked about the American attitude toward Latin America. Welles describes the importance of strengthening ties between the countries of the Americas. Under Secretary Welles states that the welfare of all of the countries in the region may depend on their continued solidarity.
Brazil enters World War II against Germany. Map of Brazil shown. Crowds gather on the streets of Rio de Janeiro as war is declared. German embassy is closed for safety of Brazil. Stores and shops are closed in Axis countries. Axis ships are confiscated at sea. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President of Brazil Getúlio Dornelles Vargas meet and sign documents of alliance between two nations. Lend-lease military equipment is unloaded from ships. U.S. and Brazilian pilots meet. U.S. pilots give training to Brazilian pilots. Planes take off. Brazilian pilots fly trainer planes to Brazil from the U.S. Flags of Brazil at mast. Brazilian airplanes take off for patrolling the coast. Brazilian ships depart from Brazilian shipyard. Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas promises to defend the coast of Brazil. Ships underway at sea. U.S. sailors stand at attention aboard a ship at a Brazilian port. Workers work in an ordnance factory. Brazilian armed forces and U.S. troops march parade. Military equipment pass on road.
A man smiles. An Afro-Cuban woman dances to the beat of drums in front of a thatched roof building. Villagers and visitors, including children,watch. Several Afro-Cuban young men pose with a variety of drums. One holds a metal device with two blades ( home made clavés?) They play and a man joins the woman in dancing. A boy in background, watching, dons a cap and holds a lunch pail over his arm. ( Note: Reportedly this is rare footage showing Yuka dancing, the precursor to modern Rumba styles, and one of the many prototype couple dances in the Americas, similar to batuque, for example, in Brazil). It features the 3-part yuka drum ensemble, and an African-derived double bell.)
Illustrated discussion of Japan's limitations in natural resources prior to World War II. Workers shown in textile mills which employed more than half of Japan's factory workers prior to the war, satisfying domestic and export needs. Analysis of the natural resources. Cotton thread is rolled on the spindles in the Textile mills in Japan. Textile mills produce fabric in Japan. Japanese women work in the textile mills. Bales of raw cotton imported from Japanese possessions in Korea and Formosa, and from the United States,India, Brazil and China. They are transported via horse carts and manually pushed on small rail carts to storage buildings for stockpiling. People cultivating some of the small amount of cotton grown in Japan. Horses and cattle used to pull plows in rice paddies. Pigs used as scavengers. Woolen fabric is produced from wool. Some of Japan's very few sheep being sheared for wool. Women working in fields of mulberry trees where silk worms flourish on their leaves. Views of the silk being spun onto spindles in a factory. Silk fabrics being stacked. Illustrated summary highlights Japanese domestic shortages of cotton, wool, and leather needed for clothing.
The swearing-in ceremony of Brazil's new President Eurico Gaspar Dutra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eurico Gaspar Dutra acclaimed as the new President of Brazil. Aircraft carrier USS Franklin D Roosevelt (CV-42) arrives for the ceremony, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background. Aircraft in flight overhead. The Mayor of New York, Fiorello Henry La Guardia also arrives for the ceremony. Mayor LaGuardia along with other officials coming out of an aircraft. People gather in a large number to greet him. Officials gather at the congress for the ceremony. Eurico Dutra along with officials arrive in a car at the Palace (Palacio Tiradentes). Eurico Gaspar Dutra being sworn in as the President of Brazil in the Hall of Congress after being handed over the reins by provisional President Jose Linhares. The new President, the first in Brazil elected by direct popular vote, shakes hands with other officials and dignitaries.
Exterior view of Pan American Union Building in Washington DC, with a 1930s Packard four door sedan-limousine parked in front. A man entering the building. Jefferson Caffery, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, seated in an office and reviewing paperwork. Narrator describes the creation of the Good Neighbor Fleet (where Moore-McCormack Lines, also called Mooremack, was contracted to run three ocean liners of the U.S. Maritime Commission between the USA and South America, called the Good Neighbor Fleet.) Close up picture of brochure advertising the new fleet, and picturing the three ships (The California, Virginia and Pennsylvania from the former Panama Pacific Line, with new names Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina.) Next scene shows 3 men meeting (this is possibly Moore-McCormack Lines founder Albert V. Moore, on right, seated at a table and in discussion, possibly with U.S. Maritime officials. Man on left is possibly Emmet McCormack.) Passengers aboard liner SS Brazil as it departs port. Crowd on docks wave at the ship leaving New York harbor. View from on board SS Brazil in New York Harbor as a nearby tug boat sprays water. Skyline and skyscrapers of New York City's Manhattan Island seen in background. Map of South America showing route of a Good Neighbor ship. Good Neighbor Fleet ships at a harbor in South America. U.S. State Department diplomats in South America beside one of the ships as fleet service is inaugurated. Exterior view of Pan American Union building and its sign in Washington DC (later called the building of the Organization of American States). President Ortiz of Argentina, President Alfredo Baldomir of Uruguay, and President Vargas of Brazil are shown in discussion with various officials.