Film begins showing location of New York City on a world globe, at the mouth of the Hudson River on the East Coast of the United States. It transitions to an aerial view of the Southern tip of Manhattan Island at the junction of the Hudson and East Rivers and slowly shows views moving Northward along the Hudson River. Piers along the Hudson are visible. Scene shifts to above those piers, looking South at the cluster of Manhattan skyscraper buildings, and beyond to New York Harbor, the borough of Queens, and Brooklyn, and beyond to Long Island in the misty distance. Next the skyscrapers are seen from Queens,across the East River. A large ocean liner is seen underway in New York Harbor, among ferry boats, barges, and tugboats. The Statue of Liberty is seen in the background. An animated map shows regions around New York and traces the Hudson and Mohawk valleys into the Great Lakes. The map is then overlaid with numerous lines representing transportation routes by lend, water, and air. View of Brooklyn Bridge, wharfs, and Manhattan skyline in hazy background. Seagoing freighters loading and unloading at New York's piers. A truck and other cargoes being moved by cranes. Passenger trains moving in the New York city area. View of the famous Beaux-Arts style Penn Station by architects McKim, Mead, and White, at West 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, in Manhattan. Train station interior crowded with travelers and commuters. Commercial aircraft taxiing at a New York area airport. Closeup of two young children watching the planes. Passengers deplaning from a large aircraft. Sign for Peruvian International Airways atop an airport building. A Swissair passenger plane being serviced. Passengers boarding a TWA Lockheed Constellation airplane. A family watching airplanes from an airport observation deck. The Lockheed Constellation starting its engines. A Douglas DC-4 aircraft taxis out and takes off, as several boys watch from the observation deck. Closeup of another group of boys watching planes from the observation deck. Aerial view of Manhattan skyscraper buildings from an overflying airplane. Traffic at Times Square. The Astor Hotel at the left and the Times building straight ahead. Several other street scenes in Manhattan, crowded with pedestrians. A view residential apartment houses along Park Avenue. Views of African Americans crowding the sidewalks in Harlem. Views of "Little Italy" in the lower East side of Manhattan, where Italian restaurants and other businesses are seen. Chinatown is seen with some of the business signs in Chinese. A man of Chinese heritage reading a letter. Asian American children playing together in a neighborhood. New high rise apartment buildings are seen replacing older homes in parts of Manhattan. Mothers wheeling their children on sidewalks in one of the new neighborhoods.
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.)
Manhattan Island in New York City, United States. A map shows the location of the five Boroughs in the New York City. A sign reads ' New York City' and marks Route 25D (Horace Harding Boulevard) on boundary between Queens County in the city and Nassau County on Long Island. .Camera pans to the Nassau County side where newly constructed homes are seen. Closeup of one of the houses, shows a small child coming out the front door to pick up two bottles of milk left by the milkman on the stoop. More views of homes in this neighborhood. A man throws a newspaper on steps of a house. Commuters (mostly headed to Manhattan) fill the platform at a station of the Long Island Railroad, and board a train as it arrives. View of the train heading West with Manhattan skyline visible in distance. View of train in major rail yard in Queens, with skyscrapers of Manhattan visible in distance.The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings are recognizable. Views of Ferry boats crossing to and from Manhattan,with sky scrapers in background. Passenger's view of ferry approaching battery terminal and docking. Commuters leaving the ferry.
Children and families face winter suffering in Queens, New York, during the Great Depression. Clothes hung outside houses on laundry lines in tenement areas. An official writes on a map. People, mostly men, in a free food line or soup kitchen line Close up view of legs and shoes of unemployed and hungry men shuffling forward in line. Officers check men. Men collect food. A man collects food items from garbage on ground. A group of man scavenge for food in a garbage or refuse dump area. Furniture and belongings of people being hauled to street during evictions. Food bundles given to men. A man brings food bundle inside house and presents it to his eager and smiling children seated at table. Children open the package. Long lines of people enter a municipal building and sign relief or unemployment documents. A woman stands with her sad children. A girl at doorway of a house. A young boy cries. A woman with her two sad children in a house. The woman cries.
U.S. Navy C-class AIrship takes off from snow-covered ramp in front of hangar at Fort Tilden, Rockaway,Queens, New york City. A cinematographer is aboard the gondola and takes most of the pictures shown, from above New York City. Aerial view of New York City skyline, office buildings, and rooftops of residential areas. Many ships in New York harbor, some sailboats. Occasional views of a C-class sister Airship. Statue of Liberty as seen from the airship circling it in flight.
Demonstration of facilities and new subway cars in a New York City subway train in New York City, United States. A subway train with destination sign "Queens Plaza" pulls in at a New York City subway station. People wait on platform. People enter and get seated. A man presses on the seat showing its comfort and appearance. A woman applies makeup looking in mirror inside the train. The driver moves the windshield wiper on the glass. A man reads a newspaper while standing in the moving train. The train pulls out.