A record Golden Wedding Party celebrated in Marysville in California. Fifty-two couples celebrate half century of married life. The couples seated on chairs. A large cake kept on a table in the center. An old man dances. A man presents a bouquet to one of the couples. The couple kisses each other.
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.
A film depicts an impressionistic study of Washington DC on a typical Great Depression day. Clark Mills's Lieutenant General George Washginton equestrian statue at Washington Circle. A cemetery and men work at the cemetery. They use a machine to help lift old grave markers up out of the ground. The grave markers appear to be circa civil war era. A marker with number 7566 on top is lifted out of the cemetery grounds. Elevated view of Pennsylvania Avenue, Old Post Office Building seen on right, and traffic on the street. Close up elevated view of 1930's automobiles stopped a stop light. Several views of 1935 year license plates or number plates of cars from various states including California, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio . A horse eats food from a bucket. A woman seated on a footpath drinks and enjoys lunch. A family seated around a table during a lunch break. People at the National Zoo. They look at animals and stand behind a cage. A young girl plays with leopard cubs. Picnickers seated in a garden, with cars on roadway behind, possibly Rock Creek Park area. A close up of a young girl eating. Children swinging on a swing set.
A United States Navy fleet review in the early 1930s. Men and the crew at deck of USS Pennsylvania. Guests of Admiral Leigh (Commander in Chief) on bridge, watch formation. Views of USS Raleigh, USS Detroit and ships in formation in sea. USS Augusta and some sailboats in fleet. Other ships of fleet in formation, small launch underway. Battleships in single column, led by USS California.
Lewis Thaddeus Nordyke, newspaperman and author, who lived through the Dust Bowl in Dalhart, Texas, recounts how some people "stayed and prayed" in hopes of rain, always looking forward to "next year." Views of drought stricken land and sand covered houses. Scenes of farmers packing up their families and abandoning their homes. (Between 1935 and 1939, 350 thousand people left their homes in the dust bowl. Many went to California.)
Documentary depicts the end of the 1920s good times in the U.S., leading into the Great Depression. Mildred Unger, age 10, performs a wing walker charleston dance while out on the wing of a JN-4 "Jenny" airplane in flight over Los Angeles in 1926.Four girls dancing on the top of a building higher than those around it, in Boston, Massachusetts. Amusement park patrons riding a roller coaster. People out driving through a park in their automobiles. Patrons enjoying themselves at the Steeplechase amusement park in Coney Island, New York. A crane piling old cars in a heap at a junk yard. But following the Wall Street crash of 1929, conditions change in America. Group of people receiving food assistance in a city. A man, woman, and baby, in a tent (probably migrant workers). The famous 1936 photo, "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange, of migrant worker, Florence Owens Thompson, with two of her children in California. Men receiving food from a city soup kitchen. Dejected unemployed men.