Nine huge airplanes of the 11th Bomb Squadron under command of Lieutenant Charles H Howard take off from March Field, fly over Sierras in Death Valley, California.
Late 20th century clip shows montage of still images from late 19th century dealing with borax. A view of Death Valley desert in United States. Deposits of borax found in the valley. Picture of San Francisco business man William T. Coleman. William Coleman invested in the borax. Mules seen carrying the cargo of borax. Twenty mule teams used to carry borax out of Death Valley, in operations by William Coleman's Company. Pictures showing the mule teams are seen.
Opening scene shows the White House in Washington, DC. Scene shifts to President Roosevelt seated, ready to address the Nation by radio. View of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. FDR with his entire family posing, in front of the family home "Springwood" at Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt, when Governor of New York, seen in a sail boat, in 1929. FDR in his car at his Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia. He is speaking with a man associated with the Institute, who then greets several polio victims in wheel chairs there. Crowds celebrating Roosevelt's election, in Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, in 1932. Roosevelt, at the Democratic Headquarters at the Biltmore Hotel on November 8, 1932. He is standing, supported by his son James, as he remarks: "It looks my friends like a real landslide this time." Aerial view of the U.S. Capitol. FDR taking the oath of office on March 4, 1933. A man looking at stock market ticker tape. A group of people raising a National Recovery Administration member flag. Glimpse of "Springwood" and then view of President Roosevelt sitting next to his mother, Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt. Next, as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt sit in the garden, their grandchildren, Anna Eleanor Dall ("Sistie") and Curtis Roosevelt Dall ("Buzzie") come past riding horses, with granddaughter Sara, behind them on a pony. FDR pets the pony and talks with Sara. FDR being nominated for a second term as President, in the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Roosevelt, riding in an inaugural motorcade as he begins an unprecedented 4th term as President in 1941. Glimpse of President and Mrs. Roosevelt in an open car. West point cadets marching in the inaugural parade. Military trucks towing artillery pieces in the parade. President Roosevelt speaking at the dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association at the Willard hotel in Washington, DC, March 15, 1941. He extols the virtues of Winston Churchill and the British people. And he promises that America will supply them with the war materiel they need (This is known as the Lend Lease Speech.)
The U.S. Navy Zeppelin, USS Akron (ZRS-4)in flight over Camp Kearny, San Diego, California. she drops mooring cable to crew of about 100 sailors on the ground. Part of the cable breaks, and three sailors are left dangling on the remaining cable. They are pulled up as the Akron rises and two of the sailors fall to their deaths. One sailor (Navy Apprentice Seaman, C.M. Cowart) remains secure on the cable and is reeled into the airship. Captain of the airship, Lieutenant Commander, Charles Emery Rosendahl, gives a public statement following the accident.
Original footage and supplemental reenactment of event that took place about a week earlier when the U.S. Navy Zeppelin, USS Akron (ZRS-4) attempted to dock for refueling at Camp Kearny, San Diego, California. In clips from that actual event, spectators watch as a hundred Navy ground crew sailors attempt to hold down the dirigible. But one of the Akron cable rings breaks and the sailors are unable to hold her. All let go of the lines except for three sailors, two of whom fell to their deaths. Scenes are shown of the remaining sailor, Bud Cowart of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, as he hangs on for more than an hour until the USS Akron crew pulls him through a port hole to safety aboard the air ship. Views shot about a week later show officers inside the Akron and Sailor Cowart aboard the airship.
View from the U.S. Navy Zeppelin, USS Akron (ZRS-4) as Sailor Charles (Bud) Cowart secures his position, suspended on a cable from the airship, 2000 feet above the ground following a cable ring failure that left three sailors dangling beneath the Akron, at Camp Kearny, San Diego, California.(The other two fell to their deaths.) Large group of sailors stand on ground below, watching. Crew of the Akron reel in the cable carrying Cowart and pull him aboard. View of Cowart, inside the Akron, calmly speaking of his experience.