Final preparations before Memorial Day ceremonies at the Suresnes cemetery in 1919. The Hillside at Suresnes cemetery is filled with spectators and an honor guard cordon of French soldiers in uniform, surrounds the cemetery proper. Large American flag flies at half mast. Several women and a child walk on path. People surround a covered monument in center of the cemetery. Rows of crosses mark graves of the fallen. French tricolor flag flying high in the background. Crosses decorated with small American and French flags. A monument at center of cemetery is covered with flowers and flags. An American army officer walks up to the monument and appears to be inspecting everything.
U.S. President Thomas Woodrow Wilson signs the declaration of war during World War I. U.S. ships sink after torpedo attacks. United States troops aboard a troop carrier ship bound tor France. Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. U.S. troops disembarking on docks in France. Navy ships being built in U.S. shipyard. Allied troops attack across no man's land. Allied rail gun firing. U.S.Soldiers fire howitzers. Smoke pours out of Allied biplane aircraft after being shot down. German troops fighting in trenches. A horse falls into a trench after being shot. Tanks in action. Tanks advance and fire. German machine gunners. German prisoners walk in a line. American troops in France celebrate the end of hostilities with the Armistice on the 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month, 1918. The American flag flies on a pole as a symbol of victory. Huge crowds of Americans celebrate in Manhattan, New York city, waving newspapers with headlines announcing German surrender. In 1919, President Wilson and General John (Black Jack) Pershing review victorious American troops marching in Chaumont, France (Pershing's headquarters). Franklin D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy with Secretary of the Navy, Daniels, in France. U.S. troops board transport ships for home. Returning U.S. Armies hold a victory parade in Manhattan, New York City, where they parade through a temporary Victory Arch constructed expressly for the purpose in Madison Square. Hydrogen balloons decorate the Arch. New York City mounted police monitor the crowds.
Early historic aviation footage focusing on French aviation pioneers like Gabriel Voisin and Alberto Santos-Dumont. An early French float plane taking off and landing. Multiwing box-like aircraft. Two early French monoplanes. Early aircraft that set performance records. 1919 picture of Baroness de la Rouche,world's first woman flyer, who was licensed in 1910 (and killed in accident in 1919). Additional scenes of historical French aircraft and a scene with American pilot Glenn Curtiss.
Panning View from a nearby hill, overlooking an American World War I cemetery, somewhere in France, as seen in 1919. It is layed out in the form of a long rectangle, with white roads and paths enclosing and crisscrossing the entire area, so that each individual row of graves is bounded by a white path. Its major roads intersect at a circle with flagpole at the center. The cemetery is in a level field surrounded by pastureland, except for the overlooking hill from which it is photographed. Scene shifts to Argonne American cemetery in France. Aerial views of graves. Foliage at the hill side. Plantings form letters of cemetery name i.e."Argonne Cemetery," at the edge of the field of crosses. The American flag flies at the cemetery. Individual Graves are seen marked with numbered white crosses bearing names of fallen American soldiers of World War 1. Several markers bear the cross of David, at graves of Jewish American soldiers. Closeups of some crosses near end of sequence. One is numbered 201, and reads: "George C. Long, Pvt. CO M. 327 Inf.
Group of United States military officers. Colonel Edward Mandell House, American diplomat and politician, sharing information. Georges Benjamin Clemenceau, Prime minister of France and Ferninand Foch,Marshal of France leaving the 10 Downing street in Paris. View of Hotel Elysees Palace and Hotel Crillon. Arrival and departure of guests at hotel Crillon. Admiral William S. Benson,Chief of U.S. Naval Operations and Henry white, a prominent U.S. diplomat leaving hotel Crillon.
Opening scene shows international diplomats gathered at the 1919 Peace Conference in the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) at the Palace of Versailles, France. Next is an exterior view of the U.S. Capitol Building and then of the Congress in session inside. U.S. Army troops, with full field packs including bedrolls, are seen embarking on a troop ship bound for France. Others with full field gear are seen boarding a troop railroad train. A train filled with soldiers who wave to friends and family as they depart a railroad station. U.S. troops march along dirt road after arriving in France. French soldiers stand amidst piles of coal being shoveled into rail cars. French troops seen from the rear, advancing along a road, in large numbers. Next, they are seen from the fromt and them from the side. French artillerymen riding in horse-drawn wagons, pulling 75mm field pieces ("French 75s"). German Field Marshal August von Mackensen and aides walk casually past a relaxing group of German soldiers sitting on the ground during World War 1. Suddenly, a motorized column of German World War II armor is seen moving along a dirt road. Closeup of a German Panzer II tank (German Pz.Kpfw.II Ausf.F) is seen, passing the camera. A momentary glimpse of several German Messerschmitt Bf 109s in formation.