Opening scene shows the Schoeneberg Rathaus (West Berlin City Hall) where Willy Brandt, Mayor of Berlin, is addressing a large crowd of West Berliners, concerned about the building of the Berlin Wall, by the Soviets. Many carry placards and signs, including some in English,reading: "We trust Kennedy,'Pay any price, Bear any burden, for survival of Liberty;'" and "Millions behind the Iron Curtain ask for help." Scene shifts to a limousine driving into the center of a crowd. Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson steps from the car, accompanied by U.S.General Lucius D. Clay, who is seen next, with arm raised, acknowledging the crowd, while standing with Johnson and Brandt, at a podium cluttered with microphones. (Narrator refers to him as "Father of the Airlift.") The next day, British and American soldiers are seen driving in jeeps and trucks and M59 Armored Personnel Carriers, through cheering crowds, as they arrive to reinforce their Berlin garrisons. Closeup of cheering Berliners, waving hankerchiefs. Change of scene shows animated map of Europe illustrating the Westward encroachment of Soviet occupation through World War II and the postwar era, concluding with East Berlin, in 1962. The threat to other Nations and regions is also illustrated. Next, legislators are seen in session in The plenary chamber of the German Bundestag in Bonn. Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany, is addressing the assembly. He states that Germany does not stand alone in the world. In France, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou addresses the National Assembly, regarding the Berlin Wall. In London, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, addresses Parliament. In the United States, on September 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy, is addressing the UN General Assembly, in New York, about the dangerous crisis in Berlin. Scenes of of the Berlin wall and Checkpoint Charlie . Memorials to persons killed attempting to escape East Berlin, are seen along the wall.
East Germans cross Wall of Shame in Berlin,Germany in the year 1962. View of the Wall of Shame or Berlin Wall. Reflective mirror light from atop a tower intended to block western observation of activity in East Berlin. Officer looks through binoculars at the East German guards across the wall. Communist guards carrying away body of Bernd Luenser who was shot trying to escape to West Berlin. Russian guards loaded in buses move through streets. Freedom bell rings. General of the United States Army Lucius D Clay salutes as the Allied soldiers march past in the streets of West Berlin along with U.S. tanks.
Civilians and the government officials work towards strengthening economy after Great Depression. Scenes from the Great Depression: Idle factories and signs "No men wanted." Homeless and unemployed men sleep on benches and holes are shown in the shoes. Unemployed workers in a soup line receiving food aid. Wooden shanties and shacks for housing of people in the Depression. A black woman seated outside a simple tent for her house. A young girl holds her baby sibling while seated on a rusty bunk bed as the infant child cries. Tired looking children during the depression. Sad looking woman seated on a bed rocks a baby. Scene change to 30 years later in mid 1960's. Aerial view of modern highway interchange with traffic on roads. Surveyors at work. Scientists work in laboratory. Doctors examine patients. Arm of person wearing a "Polio Vaccine Volunteer" armband. Children in line to receive polio vaccine. A girl gets a polio shot. Ferris wheel at a fair goes around. American citizens at a picnic enjoy foods assembled on tables. Communist troops march on street in East Germany parade and East German people wave small flags in review stand. Traffic on the main roads of a small American town, with a police officer directing traffic. Shops seen along roadside. Views of American farmers and scientists at work. Farmer on tractor and on harvester machines. Women work in a factory assembling machines. 1950s and 1960's cars in parking lot and woman shopper with cart. Women work in clerical jobs in an office. Nurses in classroom. Early computer technology; large electronic devices and many wires; lights and mechanical switches on electronic equipment. Reel to reel tape recorder or data recorder. Factory shipment floor with goods on belt. President John F Kennedy signs Manpower Development and Training Act in 1962. Golden Gate bridge from shore and from moving vehicle. Bridge construction workers handle tossed hot rivet. Boy watches dam construction workers. Boys running outside school. Boy and farmer in cornfield.
A large number of refugees flee East Berlin under the regime of Communist rule and reach West Berlin, in Germany. A large number of refugees walk near Berlin Quadriga. Russian and East German soldiers guard the Berlin wall line of demarcation between East and West Berlin. Families communicate across the line and relatives weep. A young girl weeps as she views relatives across the divided east and west Germany. A wedding bride waves to her parents in East Germany. A woman (Frieda Schulz) is pulled at the same time from above by east German authorities, and by West German helpers from below as she jumps from the window of her home on Bernauer Strasse to escape into West Germany. Scenes of several successful escapes by east Germans through barbed wire at the border, as they reach the hands of waiting helpers in West Germany.
Eleanor Roosevelt championing Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson II, as Democratic candidate for President, in 1960, in spite of two prior defeats at the polls. She is seen at an intimate gathering speaking with Stevenson and others. After Stevenson fails to gain the nomination, she supports the Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy (JFK), with whom she is seen. In another scene, Mrs. Roosevelt stands with Kennedy, and Theodore Sorenson, his advisor and speechwriter. She sits with JFK as his political advisers stand behind them. October 31, 1962, Adlai Stevenson is seen informing the public that Mrs. Roosevelt is gravely ill. She dies on November 7, 1962. On November 10th 1962, mourners, including: Laura Delano, Nelson Rockefeller, Adlai Stevenson, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ralph Bunche,Theodore Sorenson, and Robert Wagner are seen walking across a snowy churchyard in Hyde Park,at her funeral. They are followed by Former President, Harry Truman, with wife, Bess and daughter, Margaret. A moment later, President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy arrive, accompanied by Secret Service Agents. A NY State Trooper salutes as they walk past to enter the chapel. Mourners gather around the bier as clergy officiate for the burial at Springwood, in Hyde Park. Closeup shows President Kennedy, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, and former President Truman standing together. The eulogy by Adlai Stevenson is heard as a montage of Eleanor Roosevelt images is seen. On April 23, 1963, signs Congressional Act, chartering the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Foundation. He speaks about it outside the White House.
October, 1962, U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, tail number 56-6707, of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, lands at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. View of Photographic evidence, brought back by the U-2, showing Soviet missiles being set up in Cuba. President John F. kennedy broadcasts to the nation about the crisis on October 22, 1962, announcing measures being taken by the USA to address the situation. A B-58 Hustler bomber landing. Airmen removing camera from nose of a reconnaissance aircraft. Air Force Sergeant, photo interpreter, reading wet film in a base laboratory. U.S. Naval officers and sailors in Command Center viewing large wall map of the world. U.S. Air Force SAC B-52 bombers taking off. View of United Nations Headquarters building in New York City. On October 25, 1962, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson, confronts Soviet Ambassador Valerian Alexandrovich Zorin about missiles in Cuba.He looks at Zorin, and says,"Don't wait for the translation, yes, or no." Zorin smiles as the room fills with laughter. He then responds. View of a Soviet ship bound for Cuba being monitored by a U.S. aircraft overhead. Pilot in cockpit of the aircraft. View from U.S. aircraft flying low past a Soviet ship. Crew in cockpit of the aircraft. Soviet ships turning away. Helicopter flying over sandy beach area of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The helicopter parked and Undersecretary of State, Averell Harriman, steps from the helicopter and is later seen with President Kennedy, and Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, at the President's Weekend White House. Harriman reports on the successful negotiation of a limited nuclear test ban treaty. Glimpse of Moscow. U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, Soviet Foreign Minister,Andrei Gromyko, and British Foreign secretary, Alexander Douglas-Home, are seen signing the document for their respective nations, August 5, 1963.