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.
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.
'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.