Mix of period footage circa 1910, retrospective interviews in 1975, and some still images. European immigration in bad travel conditions to America. View from rail on deck of a ship in heavy seas. An elderly European immigrant recalls his experiences of the journey on ship to America. Ship in Atlantic Ocean. Picture of European immigrants on ship deck. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Early 1900s period footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and disembarking from ship, then walking with luggage for processing at Ellis Island. Some immigrants peer across New York Harbor at the skyline of New York city. Scene change to 1975 and views of interiors of a no longer used building in Ellis Island. Names of persons carved on walls. A man shares his experience as an immigrant passing through Ellis Island, and then as an immigration inspector reviewing new immigrants as they arrived.
Vietnamese refugees soon after arriving in the United States after the Vietnam War fall of Saigon. A Vietnamese girl seated next to a man using a radio to communicate. In the Refugee Center, a man writes names of refugees with their tent assignments. Air Force personnel and volunteers at work in the Center.
Rehabilitation of mentally retarded in the U.S. A mentally retarded woman sews. A retarded man drills holes in a cardboard piece. A man chisels wood. A child on a floor. A woman kneels behind it. Mr Francis Kelley, Superintendent, Mansfield Training School, Connecticut speaks about severely retarded children. A lady with a severely retarded child in a tub provides him physical therapy. Several children in a cafeteria. Some children and a woman seated at a table having their food. Three children with headphones seated around a table. A lady stands near the table. Several physiotherapists work with retarded children. A speech therapist works with a boy. A man with a boy. Some children and a teacher in a classroom. A man assembles a special chair. A retarded child sits on ground. A woman kneels near him. The woman makes a sound with a toy. The child reacts and tries to take the toy.
Research work for the evaluation and diagnosis of the mentally retarded in United States. A counselor counsels a couple. A retarded child on a floor. A woman holds a toy in front of the child. Another retarded child with his head bent. A woman talks to him. A person writes on a paper in front of an encephalography machine. The needles of an electroencephalogram (EEG) record on a paper. A boy with sensors of EEG attached to his ears. A retarded child with headphones. A woman feeds the child. A machine and a bell on the table nearby. Dr David Zeaman, Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut, talks about training of mentally retarded. A woman helps a child to paste features on a mask. A boy goes through a book. A retarded girl Debra with a utensil stands near a plunger machine. Debra puts her hand in the slot of the plunger machine. Three boys near the plunger machines. A boy presses keys on a machine. Addition sums appear on a screen with four options given below. A child selects from the options.
“Operation New Arrivals,” in 1975, at Eglin Air Force Base Vietnamese Refugee Center. Opening scene shows closeup of a clown in costume, standing among some Vietnamese refugee children who are gathered outdoors at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Closeup of two boys sitting on folding metal chairs, eating ice cream popsicles. Many more closeups of children eating their popsicles. Next the children are seen seated in chairs, applauding for some kind of entertainment. Camera then shows the aforementioned clown, in front of the children, shaking hands with some of them. He then fashions some balloons into the shape of a bunny rabbit and gives it to a small child.
Aerial view of temporary encampment for Vietnamese refugees at Eglin Air Force base in Valparaiso, Florida. View of the tents and barracks buildings, recreation areas, and roads in the camp, as seen in May 1975, soon after the fall of Saigon, near the end of the Vietnam War.