American aviator Captain Frank M. Hawks lands in Long Island after a record flight in the United States. A Travel Air Mystery S aircraft comes in for landing at Curtis Field in Long Island on August 13, 1930. Aircraft lands and taxis. People gathered around the aircraft. Newsmen interview the pilot Captain Frank M. Hawks. Captain Hawks talks about the speed record set by him during his flight from Los Angeles to Long Island.
Exterior view of Pan American Union Building in Washington DC, with a 1930s Packard four door sedan-limousine parked in front. A man entering the building. Jefferson Caffery, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, seated in an office and reviewing paperwork. Narrator describes the creation of the Good Neighbor Fleet (where Moore-McCormack Lines, also called Mooremack, was contracted to run three ocean liners of the U.S. Maritime Commission between the USA and South America, called the Good Neighbor Fleet.) Close up picture of brochure advertising the new fleet, and picturing the three ships (The California, Virginia and Pennsylvania from the former Panama Pacific Line, with new names Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina.) Next scene shows 3 men meeting (this is possibly Moore-McCormack Lines founder Albert V. Moore, on right, seated at a table and in discussion, possibly with U.S. Maritime officials. Man on left is possibly Emmet McCormack.) Passengers aboard liner SS Brazil as it departs port. Crowd on docks wave at the ship leaving New York harbor. View from on board SS Brazil in New York Harbor as a nearby tug boat sprays water. Skyline and skyscrapers of New York City's Manhattan Island seen in background. Map of South America showing route of a Good Neighbor ship. Good Neighbor Fleet ships at a harbor in South America. U.S. State Department diplomats in South America beside one of the ships as fleet service is inaugurated. Exterior view of Pan American Union building and its sign in Washington DC (later called the building of the Organization of American States). President Ortiz of Argentina, President Alfredo Baldomir of Uruguay, and President Vargas of Brazil are shown in discussion with various officials.
Sergeant R. L. Bose demonstrates reliability of Air Service parachutes and disproves a theory that a man falling 500 feet or more loses consciousness. Civilians and military spectators watch the demonstration. Views from the airplane as Sergeant Bose free-falls from 3000 feet, delaying his chute opening until 1500 feet. Some of his free fall in slow motion. He makes a routine parachute landing. Spectators and an ambulance come as a precaution to his landing point.
Shows several aviation "firsts" accomplished by U.S. Army Air Service aviators in the period from 1918 through 1924. A close formation of biplanes in flight. President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson chat with Major Fleet, Officer in charge, on the occasion of the first air mail flight, inaugurated on May 15,1918 between Washington DC and New York.The mail is loaded into the Curtis JN-4 aircraft. Pilot in the cockpit. The aircraft takes off and in flight. Air Service. Mention of aviators helping spot forest fires. Smoke rising from forest fires and mountain ranges. In 1920, U.S. Army Captain St. Clair Streett is seen with some of his Squadron who flew four De Havilland DH-4 aircraft 9,000 miles, from New York City to Nome, Alaska. Two of the men play with pet dogs. Their itinerary is painted on the side of one of the aircraft, along with the names of pilot and mechanic (C.E. Crumline and J.E. Long). In 1923 the first non stop coast-to-coast flight was made in the Fokker T-2 aircraft. . A sign on the aircraft reads 'Army Air Service non stop coast to coast'.First Lieutenants Oakley O.Kelly and John A. Macready board the aircraft, at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, on May 2, 1923. Their Fokker T-2 in flight. Their arrival at Rockwell Field, on Coronado Island (San Diego) California. In 1924, Lt. Russell Maughan is seen boarding his P-1 Hawk airplane at Mitchel Field, on Long Island, New York, and taking off , bound for Crissy Field at the Presidio, San Francisco, California. His goal is the first dawn-to-dusk, coast-to-coast flight. Views of his P-1 Hawk airplane flying over Manhattan, New York City.
The last portion of Emma Lazarus’sonnet,"The New Colossus," is shown as engraved on a tablet inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Illustrations of immigrants arriving and felling trees to build dwellings in America. Reenactments of early English, Scottish, and Dutch settlers building houses and working at crafts in New England. Italian sulphur mine workers in Louisiana. Immigrants, from France and Switzerland, planting vineyards in California and New York State. Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, sowing seed and cultivating crops in the Midwest. Polish and Welsh immigrants in American coal mines. African Americans harvesting cotton on farm fields in the United States south, including a woman with her baby riding on her long collecting bag. A Spaniard on horseback in the Southwest. Mexicans working in Texas oil fields and on ranches of New Mexico. Greek and Portuguese fishermen with huge catches of fish. A German technician working with fine instruments. Hungarian and Russian immigrants working in steel mills. Irish, Slavs, and Chinese, building railroads. Closeup of lumberjack's axes and saws cutting trees. A forge and a blacksmith shoeing a horse with horseshoes. A woman at work with a spinning wheel. Railroad ties and rails being placed. An antique railroad workman's locomotive and car. Men installing telegraph wire on rough poles. An antique steam locomotive pulling a freight train. Cowboys on horseback rounding up steers. Herds of cattle,sheep, and pigs, bound to market. Farmers tilling soil with horse-drawn cultivators, preparing tobacco leaves for drying, and loading cotton bales. Machines spinning thread in a textile mill or factory. Fabric weaving machines at work. An early steam boat underway in a river. Early model automobile driving on dirt road. Wright Flyer airplane in flight with several persons on board. Early tractors and harvester machinery working on a farm. Glimpses of American industrial plants and transportation in rapid succession (some of it showing building of Hoover Dam and building of the Chrysler Building in New York City). Oil well drilling and a "gusher" oil well spouting oil upward. Steel mills, locomotive trains, and then a scientist in a laboratory working with beakers and a solution. Dynamite charges blasting away sides of mountains and gorges, and scenes of dam construction and dams opening to allow water gushing. Large electrical control levers being thrown to run electricity, and scenes of electric transmission towers and facilities. Natural gas storage areas. Golden Gate bridge under construction and high rise skyscraper buildings being constructed, including the Chrysler Building circa 1930 while still under construction in New York City. Aerial view of New York City. Camera panning over the gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.
Film begins showing location of New York City on a world globe, at the mouth of the Hudson River on the East Coast of the United States. It transitions to an aerial view of the Southern tip of Manhattan Island at the junction of the Hudson and East Rivers and slowly shows views moving Northward along the Hudson River. Piers along the Hudson are visible. Scene shifts to above those piers, looking South at the cluster of Manhattan skyscraper buildings, and beyond to New York Harbor, the borough of Queens, and Brooklyn, and beyond to Long Island in the misty distance. Next the skyscrapers are seen from Queens,across the East River. A large ocean liner is seen underway in New York Harbor, among ferry boats, barges, and tugboats. The Statue of Liberty is seen in the background. An animated map shows regions around New York and traces the Hudson and Mohawk valleys into the Great Lakes. The map is then overlaid with numerous lines representing transportation routes by lend, water, and air. View of Brooklyn Bridge, wharfs, and Manhattan skyline in hazy background. Seagoing freighters loading and unloading at New York's piers. A truck and other cargoes being moved by cranes. Passenger trains moving in the New York city area. View of the famous Beaux-Arts style Penn Station by architects McKim, Mead, and White, at West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, in Manhattan. Train station interior crowded with travelers and commuters. Commercial aircraft taxiing at a New York area airport. Closeup of two young children watching the planes. Passengers deplaning from a large aircraft. Sign for Peruvian International Airways atop an airport building. A Swissair passenger plane being serviced. Passengers boarding a TWA Lockheed Constellation airplane. A family watching airplanes from an airport observation deck. The Lockheed Constellation starting its engines. A Douglas DC-4 aircraft taxis out and takes off, as several boys watch from the observation deck. Closeup of another group of boys watching planes from the observation deck. Aerial view of Manhattan skyscraper buildings from an overflying airplane. Traffic at Times Square. The Astor Hotel at the left and the Times building straight ahead. Several other street scenes in Manhattan, crowded with pedestrians. A view residential apartment houses along Park Avenue. Views of African Americans crowding the sidewalks in Harlem. Views of "Little Italy" in the lower East side of Manhattan, where Italian restaurants and other businesses are seen. Chinatown is seen with some of the business signs in Chinese. A man of Chinese heritage reading a letter. Asian American children playing together in a neighborhood. New high rise apartment buildings are seen replacing older homes in parts of Manhattan. Mothers wheeling their children on sidewalks in one of the new neighborhoods.