British R101 rigid airship crashes killing 48 members of crew during its maiden oversees voyage to India. Past events show Head of British Air Ministry Lord Thomson, Director of Civil Aviation Sir Sefton and other notable aircraft experts boarding R101 moored to mast in Cardington, England. French officials inspect the wreckage of the airship after its crash in Beauvais, France. French civilians look on.
German rocket pioneer, Gerhard Zucker, attempting to develop postal rockets in the 1930s. Location is Wadden Sea off Cuxhaven, on April 9, 1933, where Zucker follows Nazi Stormtroopers carrying the mail rocket across wet sands. The rocket is set up on a launch stand. Zucker and an assistant ignite the 8 side rockets and the mail rocket takes off. It noses up and loops over backwards, falling to the sand. Stormtroopers lift up the damaged device. Next, is seen a later, more modern, rocket trial ending in failure. Two German engineers display a model similar to the pulse-jet-powered "buzz bomb" (V-1) employed by the Nazis in World War 2. A brief glimpse of similar American machine on sand flat, as narrator states German acknowledgement of knowledge gleaned from Dr. Robert Goddard's work. A German V-1 flying bomb (aka Doodle Bug) being launched in 1944, during World War 2. View of British houses of Parliament, London, England; an air raid shelter sign in City of Westminster. Londoners waiting out a raid in the shelter. Scenes of fire and destruction during German bombing of London, as narrator speaks about the more advanced German V-2 ballistic missiles employed later in the war. Londoners trudging through debris amongst bombed out buildings. Change of scene to U.S. infantry and armor advancing deep into Germany. Narrator refers to them overrunning rocket bases and other vital war-making facilities, near the end of the war. Glimpse of large number of German prisoners of war. Documents of military surrender being signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, in Berlin, May 8, 1945. Closeup of Keitel. Scenes of American forces operating in Pacific theater. Aerial view of atomic bomb explosion. Japanese surrender ceremony on September 2, 1945, aboard the battleship USS Missouri. U.S. servicemen returning home and greeting loved ones. View of Pentagon building. U.S. troops boarding a ship in San Francisco, bound for war again, this time in Korea (1950).
Famous passengers aboard ocean liner SS Manhattan (later USS Wakefield during World War 2) in the United States. Flashbacks show USS Manhattan being christened by Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt on 5th December, 1931. It is seen being launched from New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden New Jersey. View of maiden voyage on 10th August,1932, with passengers boarding the ship. It leaves a port for her first trip to Thailand, England, Germany and France. The passengers dance aboard the deck of SS Manhattan. Passengers including Babe Ruth, Jimmy Walker, Glenn Cunningham, and aviator Douglas Corrigan ("Wrong Way Corrigan") seen aboard the ship.
Fishing dock scene in England in the 1930s as large harvests of Herring and bloater fish glut the market. Men load large numbers of herring and bloater fishes from ships into baskets at a fish processing pier on the east coast of England. Baskets of fish are hoisted from the ships to the docks. Women carry the fish baskets. Group of women clean the fish and put them into large barrels. A woman worker arranges some fish and then smiles for the camera.
The last portion of Emma Lazarus’sonnet,"The New Colossus," is shown as engraved on a tablet inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Illustrations of immigrants arriving and felling trees to build dwellings in America. Reenactments of early English, Scottish, and Dutch settlers building houses and working at crafts in New England. Italian sulphur mine workers in Louisiana. Immigrants, from France and Switzerland, planting vineyards in California and New York State. Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, sowing seed and cultivating crops in the Midwest. Polish and Welsh immigrants in American coal mines. African Americans harvesting cotton on farm fields in the United States south, including a woman with her baby riding on her long collecting bag. A Spaniard on horseback in the Southwest. Mexicans working in Texas oil fields and on ranches of New Mexico. Greek and Portuguese fishermen with huge catches of fish. A German technician working with fine instruments. Hungarian and Russian immigrants working in steel mills. Irish, Slavs, and Chinese, building railroads. Closeup of lumberjack's axes and saws cutting trees. A forge and a blacksmith shoeing a horse with horseshoes. A woman at work with a spinning wheel. Railroad ties and rails being placed. An antique railroad workman's locomotive and car. Men installing telegraph wire on rough poles. An antique steam locomotive pulling a freight train. Cowboys on horseback rounding up steers. Herds of cattle,sheep, and pigs, bound to market. Farmers tilling soil with horse-drawn cultivators, preparing tobacco leaves for drying, and loading cotton bales. Machines spinning thread in a textile mill or factory. Fabric weaving machines at work. An early steam boat underway in a river. Early model automobile driving on dirt road. Wright Flyer airplane in flight with several persons on board. Early tractors and harvester machinery working on a farm. Glimpses of American industrial plants and transportation in rapid succession (some of it showing building of Hoover Dam and building of the Chrysler Building in New York City). Oil well drilling and a "gusher" oil well spouting oil upward. Steel mills, locomotive trains, and then a scientist in a laboratory working with beakers and a solution. Dynamite charges blasting away sides of mountains and gorges, and scenes of dam construction and dams opening to allow water gushing. Large electrical control levers being thrown to run electricity, and scenes of electric transmission towers and facilities. Natural gas storage areas. Golden Gate bridge under construction and high rise skyscraper buildings being constructed, including the Chrysler Building circa 1930 while still under construction in New York City. Aerial view of New York City. Camera panning over the gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.
Scene opens showing the statue of British Women's suffrage movement leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, located in Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. (This was erected in her memory, in 1930, two years after her death.) A World War 1 parade of women in clothing of religious orders; nurses; some military; and academics. One group carries a banner reading "Demonstrate-Trained Nurses." It also depicts What appears to be an Angel of Mercy and an appeal to buy war bonds. They are followed by women carrying a large British Union Jack, and by others, in academic garb, carrying banners of academic institutions. (This march was probably organized by the "Women's Party," the 1917 group founded by the Panghursts' to replace their "Women's Social and Political Union." The new Party emphasized support for the British war effort.) Scene shifts to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst viewed from camera behind her right shoulder as she addresses a large crowd. She is standing on a roofed platform in a park-like setting. The audience is mostly civilian, but a soldier is seen here or there. Several London Bobbies are in the audience, close to the speaker's stand. The next scene shows pedestrians gathered near Buckingham Palace, in London. A number of Bobbies (London policemen) are present, some on foot and some on horseback. The Queen Victoria monument is visible in the background. A horse-drawn carriage passes in front of the camera. Next, a woman is seen being arrested by two Bobbies, as passersby watch. An automobile passes and then the woman and police are seen approaching the camera as more officers become involved, keeping spectators away. In the final scene, in the 1920s, a man standing in front of a large group of women, congratulates one (probably Christabel Pankhurst). Closeup shows, from left to right, the man; a somewhat tired-looking Emmeline Pankhurst; and her daughter, Christabel.