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.
A newsreel titled "Universal five wins Olympics basketball final" shows a game between the company team from Universal Pictures and the McPherson Globe Refiners from Globe Oil and Refining Co. of McPherson, Kansas. The McPherson team is sometimes also referred to as the Oilers, or the Refiners. The teams are seen playing in the Olympics Qualifying basketball final in New York's Madison Square Garden. People cheer the two teams. Universal defeats the McPherson Globe Refiners to win the Olympics final. The win entitled the Universal Pictures team to name 7 players to the Olympic basketball team representing the United States in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin Germany, and McPherson Globe Refiners was able to name 6 players to the team. These two teams beat out five U.S. college teams to earn the spots in the final and determine the makeup of the U.S. Olympic Basketball team. Players in the game in this video clip include Globe Refiners forward Francis Johnson, Centers Willard Schmidt and Joe Fortenberry, and Universal forward Carl Knowles. Universal beat the Globe Refiners by a score of 44 to 43. According to a Time Magazine article of April 13, 1936, the Globe Oil & Refining team, "...have perfected a technique called dunking with which they score by jumping up above the basket, dropping the ball into it." This may be one of the earliest references to dunking, now a staple technique in basketball. The same Time article further stated of the Oilers, "On the defense, they prevent opponents from scoring by batting the ball out of the basket." Again, the Globe Refiners were demonstrating play that later became standard in modern basketball. The idea for the Globe Refiners was a company promotion scheme, thought up in 1934 by Gene Johnson, the Sales Manager of Globe Oil who had several years experience coaching basketball. The Olympic team also included Washington State Huskey player Ralph Bishop. The USA went on to win the gold, defeating Canada 19-8.
People gather to collect clams from a beach area in Ocean City, Washington. Men and women along a twelve mile front on the beach collect clams in buckets. They load their collection onto a truck.
Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects in New York City during the Great Depression. Skilled architects, draftsmen, and artists work for the WPA on a massive scale model of New York City, built in cooperation with New York University (this model predates the famous Panorama of New York City model built for the 1964 World's Fair). An artist is seen leaning over part of the model painting one of its features, which include detailed roads, bridges, buildings, and waterways. A hand lifts a building and measures its base with a ruler. Cartographic Survey WPA workers are seen creating a relief map of Staten Island for educational use. Artists including sculptors are seen creating new sculptures funded by WPA. A man carves a bust. Another man carves a relief stone commemorating Dewitt Clinton. A man stands in a Free Library and looks at books. Two women on a park bench look at books from the WPA Free Library holdings. A skilled artist is seen laying out and buildings stained glass windows for the United States Military Academy at Westpoint in New York. Stained glass panels depicting George Washington and soldiers are seen. A series of the George Washington stained glass windows is seen in place, with the artist applying final touches. Men work on the Federal Theater Project. Billboard signs advertising various WPA funded theatre productions in 1936 are shown, including Jefferson Davis, The World's Greatest Circus, Taking the Air, The Mikado, Macbeth, All American Minstrels, Battle Hymn, and Horse Eats Hat.
Opening scene shows the White House in Washington, DC. Scene shifts to President Roosevelt seated, ready to address the Nation by radio. View of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. FDR with his entire family posing, in front of the family home "Springwood" at Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt, when Governor of New York, seen in a sail boat, in 1929. FDR in his car at his Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia. He is speaking with a man associated with the Institute, who then greets several polio victims in wheel chairs there. Crowds celebrating Roosevelt's election, in Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, in 1932. Roosevelt, at the Democratic Headquarters at the Biltmore Hotel on November 8, 1932. He is standing, supported by his son James, as he remarks: "It looks my friends like a real landslide this time." Aerial view of the U.S. Capitol. FDR taking the oath of office on March 4, 1933. A man looking at stock market ticker tape. A group of people raising a National Recovery Administration member flag. Glimpse of "Springwood" and then view of President Roosevelt sitting next to his mother, Sara Ann Delano Roosevelt. Next, as Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt sit in the garden, their grandchildren, Anna Eleanor Dall ("Sistie") and Curtis Roosevelt Dall ("Buzzie") come past riding horses, with granddaughter Sara, behind them on a pony. FDR pets the pony and talks with Sara. FDR being nominated for a second term as President, in the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Roosevelt, riding in an inaugural motorcade as he begins an unprecedented 4th term as President in 1941. Glimpse of President and Mrs. Roosevelt in an open car. West point cadets marching in the inaugural parade. Military trucks towing artillery pieces in the parade. President Roosevelt speaking at the dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association at the Willard hotel in Washington, DC, March 15, 1941. He extols the virtues of Winston Churchill and the British people. And he promises that America will supply them with the war materiel they need (This is known as the Lend Lease Speech.)
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.