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.
The legislative and maritime history of the U.S. Merchant Marines in the period between World War 1 and World War 2. Newly launched German, Italian and Japanese ships underway at sea. Ships including the German liner Bremen and the Italian Ocean liner Rex are seen underway. People gather at a dock. American ship underway in heavy seas with waves crashing over. Point of view shot at heavy seas from deck of a ship. A man works in a ship radio room. A man watches through binoculars and uses a sextant. Sailors row a small boat with oars in heavy seas. A sailor decorated by officials of the Merchant Marines. Dock workers and ship construction workers at a shipbuilding yard in the United States working on building new ships. American liners are seen undereway including: SS Washington off shore of New York City skyline and skyscrapers, SS Manhattan also off shore of Manhattan, the SS Lurline, the SS Mariposa, and the SS President Hoover (named for Herbert Hoover) underway at sea. The U.S. flag fluttering from a flag pole. The text of the declaration of policy under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 is shown.
Cars, buses, taxi cabs, and other vehicles on Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Sign boards of show-rooms in the street. Several other buildings in the background. Pedestrians cross the street. Several pedestrians stand on the paved roads. United States flag on buildings. A man loads goods into a truck. Midtown Manhattan views, including New York Public library. Uniformed policemen directing traffic of various 1930's and 1940's cars and automobiles, from center of street.
Empire State Building under construction in New York. Columns at the building in two story length. Animated pointer shows first column set on April 8th 1930 and curb reached at 25th April, 1930. The construction site of the building. Beam panel structures. Aerial view of the building. Columns at the construction area.
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.