Ceremonies at the dedication of U.S. Army Air Corps (AAC) base McChord Field near Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington. A large crowd gathered for the event. USAAC Douglas B-18 Bolos and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses on the ramp. Several aircraft parked around hangars. The spectators cheer and clap. B-18As in flight overhead. People watch the airplanes in flight.
Communists march in Washington DC. The communists protest in front of Department of Justice Building. They carry banners protesting the prosecution of 12 Communists under the Alien Registration Act (Smith Act) of 1940. Policeman watches. Patterson, Civil Rights Secretary, Mrs John Gates and Defense Lawyer O John Rogge pose. Scene change to New York City. View from next to mounted Police officer at Courthouse in Foley Square, Manhattan, New York City. Photographers and reporters assembled on steps of courthouse. William L. Patterson, National Executive Secretary of Civil Rights Congress and defense lawyer, O. John Rogge on the steps, entering the courthouse. Reporters on steps. Pamphlets read 'Not 12 Men on trial- but everybody'. Pickets in front of the Court House. Judge Medina on steps. Cameramen take photographs with eyemos cameras. Three prosecuting attorneys pose, with Chief Prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John F. X. McGohey in the center. Simon Gerson,who had been assisting the Defense, makes a public statement about the effects on the rights of all. 11 defendants, including, William Z. Foster, Benjamin Davis, Eugene Dennis, Henry Winston, John Williamson and Jacob Stachel, John Gates, Gus Hall, and Robert G. Thompson. Views of notable Communist establishments: Union Square and 16th Street offices of Freiheit, the Jewish Daily Newspaper (official Jewish Communist newspaper, published in Yiddish, on presses shared with the Daily Worker); Communist Party Center, Chelsea & Waterfront Sections of Chelsea neighborhood; Henry Forbes East Side Center, Communist Party, 201 Second Avenue (Named for Henry Forbes, a former executive secretary of the Communist party of New York County); and East-Midtown Communist Party headquarters. Party leader William Z. Foster speaking. Communist, Judith Coplon with lawyer, Archibald Palmer, in his offices.
Associate Justice Pierce Butler poses for informal picture on his 73rd birthday in Washington DC. The conservative member of the Supreme Court looks into the newsreel camera.
A documentary titled 'Boomtown DC', a part of 'This is America' series, compares Washington DC to an industrial boomtown where the big business is government. 1930's and 1940's cars parked along a tree-lined street in a Washington DC neighborhood with homes visible. A cat jumps down from a wall behind a neighborhood home, with the U.S. Capitol seen in the background. Scene changes to U.S. Capitol building exterior close up. Close up views of souvenir stand trinkets in Washington DC, including banners, snow globes, and postcards of buildings and monuments of the city. View on the National Mall in Washington DC toward the Lincoln Memorial, interrupted by temporary wartime elevated walkways erected between buildings of the rapidly expanding Navy Department on either side of the National Mall. Smoke stacks from the chimneys of a factory superimposed over various images of buildings in the city. A woman exiting a voting booth, followed by a man entering the same voting booth and closing the curtain. A US Army guard standing outside the White House. Exterior of the newly built Pentagon War Department building in Arlington Virginia. Sign "War Department" on the War Department building at 21st and Virginia Avenues. Exterior view of a Navy Department building, then exterior view of the Treasury Department building. Close up view of hands holding and flipping through a stack of IRS individual tax return documents, then of hands sorting through a stack of U.S. government bonds. View of the Justice Department, and then view of sign on the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Scientists in a laboratory operate various equipment and run tests. A scientist near some beakers and test tubes in the lab. Scientists look through microscopes. View of underground rifle range in the FBI building as personnel practice marksmanship. View toward shooters on the range during firing, and toward targets. US Army guard in front of the State Department building. Exterior view of the Department of Labor building and sign. View of the U.S. Office of War Information building (OWI) with sign "US Information" inscribed in large letters on the top of the building (possibly the "Temporary V Building" of the OWI?) Exterior view of the Supreme Court Building. View of Declaration of Independence document on display. Exerior view of U.S. Capitol, then view of House of Representatives in session. U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt seated at a desk signs a document. Citizens and workers walking on streets of Washington DC. Sopme people enter the Department of Agriculture building. Men and women enter the Office of War Information. Civilian and military hats being hung on a hat rack. Hand reaches for a 1940's era telephone. Women filing papers, views of filing cabinets. Close-up of 1940s era typewriters in use.
The first Selective Service lottery conducted in Washington, DC, on October 29, 1940, in the United States. An American Legion member, in uniform, poses with Mrs. Robert Bell and her son and a young woman (her daughter?) after her son's draft number (158) had been the first one drawn in the Washington DC Lottery. Dr. Baxter talks with Mrs. Bell and asks why she exclaimed out loud when the first number was drawn. Dr. Baxter gives her the capsule in which her son's draft number was contained. Views of the audience at the The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, where the lottery was being conducted.
Some 1940 U.S. football highlights. Scenes of a long touchdown run and an interception and touchdown run from the 1940 National Football League Championship Game that the Chicago Bears won 73-0, on December 8, 1940. Scenes from the Dartmouth-Cornell "Fifth-Down" game of November 16, 1940, with Cornell quarterback "Pop" Scholl throwing a "winning" touchdown pass to William Murphy.