"City Pastorale" shows citizens of New York hurrying about their business during workday on a street in New York City. Vehicular traffic and pedestrians. People riding on the subway. Views of workaday foot traffic along New York sidewalk. Macy's department store. Racks of clothes being wheeled along the streets and sidewalks. Scenes of New Yorkers in hectic activity. In contrast, are shown peaceful scenic views of New York City. Penthouse gardens. Clothes drying on a rooftop line. People entering a number of different churches in Manhattan, New York. A woman in a garden. A man and a boy sit and read newspapers in the garden. The young boy looks at the "funny papers" (comic strips). A man walks with a child on a sidewalk. Cars parked. People chatting on the sidewalk of a New York city street. The Chrysler Building and nearby skyscrapers. People taking pictures with handheld cameras at a playground. Families with babies. Children playing in a park. Quiet streets. Car drives beneath an elevated train. Men walk on a ramp. People relax on beaches. Older women gathered together on the beach talking, while boys play in the sand at the edge of the surf. A huge crowd seated in a baseball stadium and watching a game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, including a shot of Giants pitcher, #36 ( Mickey McGowan ?), throwing from the mound and, in another scene, Giants #23 (Clint Hartung ?) batting and striking out. Views of the fans watching the baseball game, including some men in suits and boys sitting together in the bleachers watching the game and eating ice cream on a stick. Visitors stroll through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Depiction of the New York Stock Exchange crash of 1929 in New York City. American traders at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. People trading at the exchange market. A man talks on a telephone. Many people gathered on the floor of NYSE. People discuss, crowd, and shout out orders. People sell their shares. Frenzied selling of shares. Ticker tape machines spitting out sell orders. Traders yelling orders to other traders. Telephone switchboard operators frantically taking orders. A note reads 'Sell 3000 M' , 'Sell 800 GE' , 'Sell 1000 RCA', 'Sell 1000 M' , 'Sell 1000 A', 'Sell 500 EBS' and 'Sell 2000 CN'. The stock market crashes. Stock ticker tape and papers scattered all over the floor of the exchange on Wall Street.
'Retrospect' about the events that led to the present pattern of life in the United States. Host Douglas Edwards, an American television anchor speaks about the past events in America. Crowd of unemployed men gathering in bread lines after the 1929 crash and subsequent Great Depression. A man near a box of apples. The U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addresses a gathering. The kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the son of the aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1932. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German carpenter who abducted the child during the trial. The congressmen at the formation of the Lindbergh Law. Newspapers describe the apprehension or death of notorious gangster criminals, such as Dutch Schultz and Baby Face Nelson. Huey Pierce Long, Jr. a American politician addresses people. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia appeals to the League of Nations, after his country is attacked by Italy under Mussolini. Adolf Hitler stands. Troops of the German army parade. Scenes from the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1937 as Spanish national forces battle against fascist rebel forces. Spanish Troops fire 75mm field artillery pieces. Bombs being dropped on the buildings. Spanish soldiers marching during the civil war. The Hindenburg disaster takes place on May 6th 1937: The German airship LZ 129 Hindenburg catches fire over the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester, New Jersey. Amelia Earhart the first woman aviator to fly solo holds flowers and is surrounded by people. She went missing in 1937. Cowboy philosopher Will Rogers, alone and with U.S. Vice President John Nance Garner and with aviator Wiley Post (who had patch over one eye). King Edward VIII of Great Britain, abdicating the throne for "the woman I love." People at the German-American Bund Nazi sympathizing gathering including the subduing of objectors on stage, in Madison Square Garden, New York. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, returning from meeting with Adolf Hitler in Munich in 1938. View of Adolf Hitler. German tanks on parade in World War II. an array of artillery guns on display. Railway guns being fired in WW2.
Scenes of fire fighters battling fire at the Lee Brothers warehouse at 2296 Eighth Avenue at 123rd Street in New York City. The warehouse blazes. Firemen spray water from hoses at the blaze. Two men talk to each other at the site. View of damaged fire fighting equipment, cars, and debris. (FDNY Firemen Elbert Hardman and Nelson Tuite, both of Engine 36 were operating the deckpipe on the 1929 Seagrave hose wagon of Engine 36, when an explosion blew out the top corner of the building front wall. Both fire fighters were killed and the hose wagon was destroyed.) The firemen evacuate casualties and transfer them into ambulance. Thick ice covers the building from freezing temperatures, after the blaze was extinguished.
World's Heavyweight boxing championship at Madison Square Garden in New York, United States. People outside the garden to watch the bout. German Boxer Max Schmeling walks in and people gathered around him. People purchase tickets for the boxing bout from a counter. A hand holds two tickets of the bout which reads James J Braddock vs Max Schmeling. Large sign at the Madison Square Garden Bowl advertising the boxing match. Sweeping views of the empty Madison Square Garden Bowl arena in Long Island City. Only one spectator seated in the stands.
Various views of 60 thousand Labor union members of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) as they parade on 8th Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, in a march to Madison Square Garden, where many are seen entering. The Garden Marquee advertises the CIO Rally attended by Mayor O'Dyer and CIO President, Philip Murray. This CIO rally is to protest the recent passage of the Taft-Hartley Labor Bill and to demand its veto by President Truman. Brief glimpse inside the packed Madison Square Garden, with bright light panning over the gathering. (Note: Members of the AFL labor union held a similar march and rally, in Manhattan, 6 days earlier, on June,4th). Scene shifts completely to CIO members parading in protest at a different (unidentified) city. Business establishments seen include Kipens Hardware and Busse's Drug Store.