Works Progress Administration (WPA) building projects during the New Deal effort of the Great Depression: Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson River in Fort Lee, New Jersey. A group of teenage boys hiking in the park. Groups gathered at a picnic area. Boys and girls playing outside of a new bath house building beside the park beach. View of the Perkins Memorial Tower built in honor of the former chairman of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and a wide view of the Palisades Interstate Park Administration Building still under construction. Scene changes to Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale New York, as 1930's cars drive in front of a newly built club house to discharge passengers. A uniformed door man stands by. Women golfers and men golfers play on the new 18 hole golf course in the park which requires no membership.
Famous passengers aboard ocean liner SS Manhattan (later USS Wakefield during World War 2) in the United States. Flashbacks show USS Manhattan being christened by Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt on 5th December, 1931. It is seen being launched from New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden New Jersey. View of maiden voyage on 10th August,1932, with passengers boarding the ship. It leaves a port for her first trip to Thailand, England, Germany and France. The passengers dance aboard the deck of SS Manhattan. Passengers including Babe Ruth, Jimmy Walker, Glenn Cunningham, and aviator Douglas Corrigan ("Wrong Way Corrigan") seen aboard the ship.
'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.
Busy streets of the cities in the United States. A woman officer at a desk of Army-Navy Screen Magazine's "By Request Department" addresses U.S. soldiers overseas during World War 2, and says they will show views of various American home towns by request.. Busy intersection along Capitol Street in Charleston, West Virginia. 1930s automobiles on roads and American citizens walking on city streets. Next scene shows the main street of Wytheville, Virginia with cars, pedestrians, and shops. Next scene is of main street area in Fall River, Massachusetts. Buildings seen on either sides of the streets and buses at bus station depot. Next view is of Springfield Street, looking toward Market Street in the center of Newark, New Jersey. Main streets of Winslow Arizona, with citizens dressed in Western wear, and then a main intersection in Tucson, Arizona, where a paper boy sells newspapers on a street corner.
Trinity Church and empty streets of Manhattan. Instrumental audio begins, accompanying scenes of busy roadways and traffic jams in the United States. Many 1930s automobiles seen from Ford, Chevrolet, Packard, Chrysler, and others. Passenger cars as well as delivery and freight trucks. Scenes of cars driving steadily on the highways and roads in the United States. Number of cars drive steadily on a six lane road. Scenes of cars stuck in long lines of traffic. Exasperated drivers. Drivers get out of their cars in the jam to talk to each other. A mechanic replaces flattened tire of a car on the road side. Many outdoor advertising signs featuring local businesses and services. A boy helps a girl peer over a high stone wall where she sees a "no trespassing" sign. The kids join their parents in a picnic on the roadside. A police officer on a motorcycle shakes his head in disbelief at the traffic. Signs warn drivers about traffic safety. A wooden mannequin of a policeman with arms waving to slow down traffic. A man works on the engine of a car. A crashed car and a crane. View from a valley as a car soars over the edge of the road embankment above and crashes down a mountainside, with pieces flying everywhere.
British narrated film discusses people and climate of the United States. Shots of CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) President John L Lewis and Father Coughlin speaking. Harlem street scene. Crowd entering a subway station in New York City. Newspaper headlines posted in China Town New York. Storefronts of Greek and Italian merchants in downtown New York City. Signs seen include 'Grande Deposito Dolio Doliva,' and 'Anthony Coulapides, manufacturer of high grade cigarettes.' Hebrew writing and star of David seen on side of building. Buildings with Spanish language signs in New York. A parade float with Virgin Mary depiction. Wide shot of a vineyard. View of a water wheel turning at a mill. Boys skinny dipping. 1930's and 1940's era cars on deep snow covered roads of an American town. Homes in deep snow. People recline on a beach in Florida in winter while on the same day in New Hampshire people ski, some pulled by horses. People slip while walking across a street during a blizzard. A boy takes removes an apple from an icebox (early refrigerator). Dust storms in farm country of the midwest during the dust bowl. Man races across a field toward a barn as a dust storm bears down on it. A farmer leads his horses out of a corral. A farm is destroyed by dust storms during the dust bowl. A family piles their remaining things on a farm truck and abandons their farm destroyed by the dust bowl. A poor family in a shack in the River Mississippi Valley area.