Clear aerial views of midtown and lower Manhattan, New York City 1930, but with smoke coming from Hudson River pier of New York Harbor where the North German Lloyd liner Munchen (sometimes Muenchen or München) is seen on fire, shortly after docking in New York after the voyage from Bremen, Germany. Ship emits smoke and fire at the pier. Firefighters spray water to extinguish fire. Views of the piers and slips and dock areas on the Hudson River at New York City and close up views of the firefighters battling the blaze on the Muenchen. The ship subsequently sank at dock. She was raised later in 1930, repaired in dry dock, and returned to service under the new name SS General von Steuben. The ship was sunk in 1945 by the S-13 submarine of the Soviet Union.
Elevated views and busy street views of automobile and pedestrian traffic on streets of New York City in the late 1930s. A streetcar stopped in the street. A roadside news stand. Children walking to school. Children exiting a school bus to go to school Two boys wrestle as a group of boys encourages them. Girls play a game like "London Bridge is falling down." Scene changes to a farm field with a farmer plowing a field with his tractor. A farmer cuts crops with a sickle. Scene changes again to a neighborhood with nice homes and two girls play skipping rope at a house. A woman prepares toast in a toaster. Vegetables and food items in refrigerator. Scene changes to dense urban tenements and scenes of relative poverty in New York City. Elevated view looking out over dense tenements and apartment homes. Two young women sit on sleeping cots on a rooftop 1930s cars parked on a narrow street among crowded city dwellings, and and people sit outside their houses. Kids playing "stoop ball" throwing a ball against steps of their dwelling. A poster reads "Yellow Jack". Children play.
Ethnically diverse people along streets in New York City. People of Chinese origin in Chinatown. Scene changes to a Jewish area with signs on market shops in Hebrew. A board at a shop reads "Strictly Kosher A Goldberg & Son Poultry Market". A crowded street. Children play. Negro men talk in a largely African American area of New York City (likely Harlem). Children play games and skip rope. A boy writes with a chalk on a sidewalk.
Views of a vintage 1930s New York City police car on a busy street of Manhattan, New York City. At start of clip, the Columbus Circle statue of Columbus can be seen in distant background as car heads possibly down 59th Street and then down 7th Avenue. A policeman driving the car, and another cop sitting next to him looking out through the window. People walking on sidewalks, cars parked at the sides of road. Other 1930s vehicles on road including cars, taxis, trucks, and buses. A horse-drawn wagon or carriage is also seen. A corner shop with sign "Primadora" is seen. Near end of clip the car passes a Madison Square Garden entrance advertising the "National Horse Show. November 4 through November 5. International Military Jumping every night."
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 in the 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.
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.