The U.S. Aircraft Carrier, USS Langley (CV-1) going through the Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal with many aircraft parked on her deck. In different sequence, aircraft are seen taking off and landing on the deck of the Langley. Complete change of scene shows launching of the USS Saratoga (CV-3) at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard in Camden, New Jersey. The USS Saratoga is christened with a bottle of champagne and slides down the ways into the river. Views from the deck of the Saratoga as she proceeds down the ways.
Pan American Union Building in Washington DC, United States. A garden around the building. A circular drive at the building. People arrive by automobile and climb up the steps at the entrance. The vehicle drives away. A statue of a woman with a child at the building with the words 'South America' inscribed on the base. The garden from where part of the Washington Monument is visible. Another small building. A garden with walkways in front of the building. The U.S. flag sways, the flag of Panama hoisted on a pole and another flag.
Construction of the Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Views of abandoned and failed first attempt by French team led by Ferdinand de Lesseps, with scenes of Panama natives cutting vegetation with machetes. Scene of abandoned canal work area. Scenes of United States work to build the canal beginning in 1903. Steam shovels digging and moving earth. Laborers construct railroad for use in canal building. General Glen Edgerton talks about the construction difficulties from malaria, and the worker prescription of quinine three times daily. Views of British and French workers on the site working and arriving by rail to work. Dynamite explosion removes rumble for railroad construction. View of locks under construction 1000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Excerpt from interview with former Canal Zone Governor and Congressman Maurice Thatcher, who characterizes the project as the greatest liberty that man had ever taken with nature. (Thatcher was honored when the first bridge connecting both sides of the Panama Canal was named after him as "Thatcher Ferry Bridge". In 1979 the name was officially changed to the Bridge of the Americas.) Clip next shows 1970's aerial view of the Panama Canal. Ships moving through the Panama Canal.
Construction of the Panama Canal. A view of the Panama Canal constructed by U.S. Army engineers. The engineers work at the Culebra Cut. A train on tracks. Smoke comes out. A crane lifts up rubble. Two engineers stand and one of them holds a shovel in his hands. The engineers work at Gold Hill. They use a hydraulic excavation cylinder and spray. A view of the Culebra Cut before the water entered. A boat underway in the Culebra Cut. A spillway at Gatun Lake. Water is controlled by the spillway. A sign reads 'Gatun Locks'. A liner in Gatun Locks. People at the dock along the Panama Canal. A view of Panama City, with people and traffic on the streets. Buildings on a street of Panama City. Mountains in the background.
Aviator Charles Lindbergh in Panama. Lindbergh takes President Rodolfo Chiari Robles, (President of Panama 1924-1928) for a ride over the Canal Zone. President Rodolfo Chiari strapped into the seat in Lindbergh's plane 'Spirit of Saint Louis'. The plane takes off. The plane in flight over Panama City and Balboa. Aerial views of Panama City, Balboa, buildings and the Panama canal zone. The President disembarks from the plane and talks to some officials.
U.S. military canal defense and base security requirements and future requirements regarding proposed canal relocations in Panama. A U.S. officer conducts a JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff) briefing in the United States. A map of Panama shows military training areas. The map shows Pecora-Chepo, Pina-Range, Mandinga and Madden as military training areas. An officer speaks. A map shows Costa Rica border, present canal zone in Eastern Panama and Atrato River in Columbia. The officers speak about canal relocations and future requirements in Panama. A map of Panama shows present canal zone. An officer speaks.