The 1932 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt with his daughter Anna Roosevelt and granddaughter Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Dall (sometimes known as Sistie) outside a building circa 1930. Roosevelt holds a cane while leaning against a column and plays with his grandson using the cane. People gather in the convention hall for the 1932 Democratic National Convention. Roosevelt addresses them, speaking of the need to "break foolish traditions" and "to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people." The people applaud.
Hard times in the Great Depression led to formation of The Bonus Army. American veterans of World War 1 march on streets of Washington DC, carrying a large poster demanding immediate cash redemption their "bonus" service certificates awarded by Congress in 1924 (but not lawfully payable until 1945). Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, ordered by President Hoover, to clear the Bonus Army encampments, is seen standing in a street surrounded by several U.S. Army troops. People watch from sidewalks as a contingent of U.S. Army cavalry rides down the street. U.S. Army M-1917 tanks roll down Pennsylvania Avenue in July 1932. Bonus marchers and others watch from Lafayette Park in background. Scene shifts to the 1932 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago Stadium, Chicago, where delegates cheer after nominating Franklin D. Roosevelt as their Presidential candidate. Roosevelt seen waving from the podium. Migrant farm workers seen at temporary, dilapidated dwellings in close quarters, and sitting at a campfire, some with sad and desperate faces. Migrant farm workers' cars on the road, piled high with family belongings during westward migration. Migrants riding atop an open railroad freight car. Two men share a copy of the "Epic News" newspaper (published by supporters of Upton Sinclair and the End Poverty Movement in Los Angeles and central California). Narrator describes programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Construction workers ignite demolition charges during construction of Boulder Dam (aka Hoover Dam and officially so-named in 1947). Glimpse of President Roosevelt at the site in an open car, for its dedication on September 30, 1935. Construction workers engaged in building the dam. Another shot of President Roosevelt in his open car. Towers being erected to carry electric power from the dam's hydroelectric generators. President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiling broadly at the formal dedication ceremony, September 30, 1935. Controlled discharges of water through the dam. Views of the Boulder Dam hydroelectric generating station. Oil well rigs or oil derricks at work during construction at night. People at work in fabric mills or textile mills, and in a print shop
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.)
A film depicts activities of the U.S. Navy personnel aboard a ship in the Pacific Ocean. A tiny girl doing hula. The hula girl sitting around with sailors in the background. The sailors watch the girl dancing. A fleet underway in the extreme background.
View of a book entitled "Builders of Hawaii." A hand opens it to several different places, revealing photos of persons who played roles in the early development of Hawaii. Also revealed are pages from the newspaper "Commercial Advertiser" reporting that flags changed as "Hawaii becomes the first outpost of Greater America" and "Old Glory is the new flag of the Hawaiian Islands." (This refers to the establishment of the Territory of Hawaii, under the U.S. Hawaiian Organic Act of 1900.) A portrait of Sanford Ballard Dole is shown. (He was the President of the Republic of Hawaii, 1894-1900, and its first Territorial Governor, 1900-1903.) Views of the Hawaiian State Archives Building, on the grounds of the Iolani Palace, in Honolulu. A plaque honoring Captain James Cook. Views of visitors inside an exhibit that includes a reproduction of an early Hawaiian cottage.
Aftermath of Pearl Harbor attack. People in Oahu, Hawaii, prepare to deal with more air attacks by Japanese. Armed U.S. soldier in sandbagged position, in Hawaii. The territorial governor of Hawaii, Joseph Poindexter, signing a declaration of Martial Law. Four thousand members of Oahu's Civil Defense Committee, dressed in dark bottoms and white tops, wearing steel helmets with "W" on them, standing at attention in formation on grounds of a stadium. Windows in all downtown shops taped to prevent flying glass. Sand bags surrounding a power substation. Huge quantities of barbed wire in a storage yard and strung along the beaches, along highways, around schools, and public buildings of Oahu. A man pushing a lawn mower between sandbagged defense positions in a residential neighborhood. Construction machinery digging defensive trenches. Bomb shelters being constructed of precast concrete. Air raid sirens installed and school children leaving their building and sheltering in deep trenches during a test. Very small children taking shelter in zig-zag trenches and donning gas masks. Huge assemblies of children, and of grownups, all donning gas masks. Little children being dressed in capsule-like "bunny mask" protective gear.One of them crying inside the covering. Crowds of women and children lined up on a veranda waiting to receive these "bunny masks." Military personnel, civilians, and school children, all carrying personal gas masks with them at all times. Innumerable old rubber tires saved in an open yard. Japanese-Americans donating blood to the American Red Cross and lined up to buy war bonds. Soldiers arresting a Japanese resident known to be an enemy agent. Boarded up shops of Japanese-Americans, who had been interned. Japanese-Americans removing all Japanese language signs from their areas. Language school buildings with closed signs. An empty and boarded-up Shinto temple. One Japanese-American replacing his cafe sign with one reading: "Keep 'Em Flying Cafe." U.S. Army troops posted on roadways. The Aloha Tower in camouflage paint. A Lurline steamship leaving port, and being replaced by warships. Prewar view of people enjoying Waikakee beach, and current view of two boys playing in sand near barbed wire barriers. City streets deserted at twilight, as blackout procedures take effect at dusk. Views of darkened homes and palm trees silhouetted against sky at dusk. The "ghost" of a sailor killed in World War II, stands in front of Arlington cemetery, Washington, DC, and converses with the ghost of a soldier killed in World War I. They discuss idealistic notions about ending wars for good. Displays of flags is seen, including: Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; China; Costa Rica; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; Dominican Republic; England; Ethopia; Greece; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; India; Yugoslavia; Luxembourg; Mexico; The Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Norway; Panama; The Philippines; Poland; Russia; El Salvador; South Africa; and the U.S.A. "V" created in the sky by a skywriting airplane.