Film opens showing people assembled at a celebratory dinner, honoring French aviators, Captain Dieudonne Costes and Lieutenant Maurice Bellonte, who on September 1, 1930, flew their Breguet XIX aircraft,"Le Point d'Interrogation" (The Question Mark) non-stop from Paris to New York, and thence to Dallas Texas,landing at Love Field, Dallas, on September 4th,where they were greeted by 30,000 aviation enthusiasts. They are being honored by William Edward (Colonel) Easterwood, Jr., a Texas philanthropist and aviation enthusiast who had offered a $25,000 prize for the first one-stop flight from Paris to New York to Dallas,Texas. Colonel Easterwood delivers congratulatory remarks, and presents his check for the prize to the fliers. Closeup of the Easterwood check. Broadcast microphones are placed close to Colonel Easterwood and the fliers. Next, the fliers stand near the end of the event. Scene shifts completely to Costes and Bellonte with their aircraft, "The Question Mark, aboard a steamship, ready to sail back to France. Closup of the aircraft with large question mark painted on its side along with names of cities world-wide to which it had flown. Among these are: Hanoi; Calcutta; Karachi; Alepo; Athens; Rome; Paris; and New York. (Note: There is a display at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas Love Field, that includes the actual prize check as well as a panoramic picture of the "Question Mark" landing in Dallas, along with a plaque commemorating the event.)
Rail guns firing in World War 1. U.S. troops charging out of trenches. Allied gunners firing "French 75s" Allied twin-tailed biplane bombers. French Renault F17 tanks. Crowds in cities celebrate Armistice Day and end of World War I. Treaty of Versailles. Destruction of warships. Scenes of Paris. A pagoda in Japan. Temples in Siam, China, and Manchuria. Two Kayan women in Myanmar or Thailand perform a dance. Both Kayan women wear long brass coil neck rings. In the U.S., a boy hits a baseball and runs toward first base. Scenes of Japan invading Manchuria. Newspaper with headline: Henry Stimson denouncing Japan. U.S. Army troops dispel World War I veteran bonus marchers. Men lined up in bread line for unemployed during Great Depression. Brief shot of Gangsters in gun battle in an American city. Scenes of dust bowl in American with farmers and families heading West in caravans. Family standing by tent. Torchlight parade in Germany. Adolf Hitler with German President Hindenburg. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Victor Lutze, at 1934 Nazi Rally in Nuremberg. Italian Caproni bombers over Ethiopia. Ethiopian tribesmen and Haile Selassie. U.S.Neutrality Act. American youths with a 1930 Ford coupe. Scenes from Civil war in Spain. Spanish Rebel forces in ground combat with Nationalist forces. German and Italian aircraft participate in bombing Spanish Nationalist targets in Spanish Civil War. Spanish civilians flee bombing, tend to wounded and dead victims following bombings. Italian Savoia-Marchetti S.M.79 Sparviero bombers. Crowds running for shelter. Women and children victims of bombing, some crying and in shock. Spanish General Franco arrives by train in southern France to meet with Hitler. View of Gallup Poll forms, and findings, with Americans against entering European war and preferring neutrality. Japanese planes and warships attack China. Naval Chinese civilians run for cover; bodies of Chinese in trucks. Japanese freighters, Buenos Aires and Tatsuno Maru, in U.S. ports being loaded with scrap iron and metals. Hitler, Goering and other officers in 1938. Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier, Benito Mussolini, Count Ciano sign Munich Agreement. Hitler riding standing up in an open car during a rally in Germany. Elevated view of Los Angeles, then view of traffic on streets of Los Angeles California and newspapers being sold to pedestrians. Citizens in movie theater watching Confessions of a Nazi Spy. German-American Bund activities including outdoor rallies in the U.S., and an indoor rally in Madison Square Garden. Emperor Hirohito reviewing World War 2 troops of Japan. Japanese steel production and arms production in Japanese factories. The Hokoku Maru Japanese ship being launched with fanfare from Tama Shipyards on July 5, 1939. Meeting of United States Military Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in late 1939 to consider national defense matters. In meeting of Naval Affairs Committee, representative asks for increase of 25 percent in authorized naval tonnage.
Dawn and morning time in Paris. A bridge over the River Seine. Clouds over the city. A Statue of Liberty replica in the foreground. Men sleep on the riverbank. The Eiffel Tower on the river banks. Two pillars flank a road. Smoke from a stack. The Rue Royale, Obelisk and a fountain at the Place de la Concorde. Trucks spray water around the fountains. A man sweeps the street. Women push a cart full of baked goods. A busy market street. Men carry heavy load, push and pull carts. A mail man at a window. Children walk to school with book bags. 1920s and 1930s cars moving on the roads, as seen from unusual point of view of a moving camera at low level, just a few feed above the road surface.
Views of Paris prior to World War II. The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile (Arch of Triumph). The Tuileries gardens (Jardins des Tuileries) with bed of tulips in full bloom in foreground. The Eiffel Tower (la tour Eiffel). The fountain of River Commerce and Navigation at the Place de la Concord, Paris, with the Madeleine church (L'église de la Madeleine) directly behind, the Hotel de Crillon,barely seen at left, and its twin building, the French Naval Ministry, opposite, on the Rue Royale. People strolling and shopping on the Boulevard Haussmann. Awning of Les Deux Magots café and patrons seated at tables outside, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris. People relaxing in the Tuileries gardens, with Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Musée du Louvre in background. An artist at work, seated at a bench in the foreground. The west facade of Notre Dame Cathedral. Parisians looking at posters, reading in parks, visiting bookstores. Sign directing visitors to the Congres des Ecrivains (Congress of Writers) held at Maison de la Mutualité conference center at 24 Rue Saint-Victor, 5th arrondissement of Paris, France.in June, 1935. Several writers seated at a table with others standing around. Closeup of three. Closeup of British writer, Aldous Huxley, wearing eyeglasses. Two writers conversing. Scene shifts to Paris at night. Traffic on streets. Illuminated sign at Moulin Rouge cinema, topped with illuminated arms of a windmill. Sign of nightclub, Le Rat Mort, in Place Pigalle. Interior of a Paris nightclub with sophisticated clientele. French entertainer playing a guitar. An official posting an announcement called "Counseil de Revision," calling for conscription of citizens for military service. Parisians preparing defenses in the city, in front of the Eiffel Tower. Man deep in a trench preparing a shelter. Men carrying sandbags up a ladder to protect a national monument. Copy of the New York Times newspaper annnouncing the German attack on Poland. Copy of New York Daily News announcing fall of Holland. The New York World-Telegram paper announcing capitulation of France. German Panzer II tanks and motorcycle troops entering Paris. German infantry marching through the Arch of Triumph, on the Champs-Élysées. A Frenchman wiping his eyes as he watches the occupying troops. Hermann Goering with other officers riding in an open car along a Paris street. Closeup of Arch of Triumph. Adolf Hitler, accopanied by staff, looking at the Eiffel Tower. Nazi flag flying from the tower. Closeup of Hitler looking around. The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in Academic garb, at the University of Virginia commencement ceremony, in Memorial Gymnasium, on June 10, 1940. (FDR's son Franklin Jr. was among the graduates assembled, from the UVA Law School). Roosevelt expresses American sympathy and support for nations invaded by the Nazis. American street scene. Women preparing gifts intended for France. A poster showing a French soldier, entitled: "Le Paquet Au Front." American draftees in training at an army post in the U.S. Smoke billowing from American industrial facilities. Workers at an American shipyard. View of warships under construction at the yard. A Huge gun barrel being moved on special rail dollies, in a U.S. arms factory. U.S. Navy F4U Corsair Production Line during World War II. M3 Lee medium tanks being manufactured in U.S. factory. Closeup of finished one being transported via transverse crane. M4 Sherman tanks moving on flat rail cars. A speeding steam locomotive pulling freight cars. Martin PBM-5 Mariner in flight over an Atlantic convoy carrying war materiel to the United Kingdom. Sailor wearing headset, standing near depth charges at stern of a ship. British Naval Ensign flying from mast of a ship.
Animated map shows Amercan forces advancing toward Paris. Views of German troops disorganized and making their way indivually among burning and destroyed military tanks and vehicles. A U.S. colonel confers with U.S. Armored unit officers, using hood of jeep as a table. U.S. Sherman tanks and tank destroyers moving along dirt roads toward Paris, at high speed and passing beyond the Orleans region.They move rapidly through groups of cheering French citizens in a French town. American armored units moving to bypass Paris. U.S. Army Air Force airplanes dropping maps to the armored units by parachute, because they were moving too fast to be supplied by ground. French forces,armed with American tanks, vehicles, and arms, are ordered to advance and take Paris. As they proceed, U.S. Army Air Forces support them from the air. Formations of P-51 fighter and B-26 bombers are seen.The French forces advance at rate of 25km per day. They are joyously welcomed as they pass through French towns on their way. Scenes of Paris. Local residents in line at a shop. German are seen beginning to leave Paris. A line of horse-drawn wagons is seen in the street. On August 14, 1944, Paris Police went on strike. They are seen drawn up in formation. August 15, 1944, the Gestapo left Paris. French citizens and police open fire on German Army vehicle.Parisians begin to hang the tricolor from their windows.French resistance fighters seen running in streets of paris and firing weapons. A doctor and several nurses run for cover. Parisians begin to fill the streets as elements of the French Army enter Paris.General Charles de Gaulle walking along a street in Paris.
Firemen respond to a fire in a new sedan fire engine, and they put out the fire in a building in Paris, France. Fire fighters rush outside a building. The firemen rush to a "fire-engine sedan, which is a sedan car fitted with pumps and equipment attached to the rear of the vehicle, used for putting out fire. The firemen get into the sedan and drive away. The sedan arrives at a fire-stricken building. The firemen get out of the vehicle and take the pump and other equipment from the rear of the sedan, hook up hoses to local fire hydrants, and start putting out the fire. The firemen are seen spraying water from a hose onto the building on fire.