U.S. Army soldiers are seen in their trucks, leaving the front Gate of Camp Meigs, Washington, DC. The trucks are canvas covered and carry posters on their sides about U.S. Army motor convoy trip from Washington, DC, via the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco, California. A car follows the trucks.
Location is the Ellipse, south of the White House, in Washington, DC. The occasion is the dedication of a temporary Zero milestone in ceremonies at the start of the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps'so-called "Truck Train," a convoy of military vehicles that is to travel the "Lincoln Highway" across the United States, to San Francisco, California. The ceremony begins with a flag raising, where all stand and uniformed Army officers salute. Congressman Julius Kahn, of California, salutes with his hat over his heart. The temporary marker is covered with white cloth and two wreaths, which officials remove and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, begins his speech accepting the temporary marker. (A permanent marker needed an act of Congress for approval. So a temporary one was approved to allow the launch of the Army cross-country convoy.) The Washington Monument is visible in the background, as Mr. Baker delivers his remarks.
Wright brothers' first flight together near Dayton Ohio in 1910. Wilber is in the pilot's seat with Orville as passenger to his right.(Until this flight, the Wrights had never flown together so that if one of them was killed, the other could continue their work.) Next, a view of Alberto Santos-Dumont, and the first European flight made by him on 13 September 1909. Following segment shows crowds gathered at Washington DC Polo field as truck arrives carrying mail to be loaded on the first U.S. Air mail flight, May 15, 1918. Army pilot, Lieutenant Webb, in his JN-4H airplane, on Southbound flight from New York, takes off from Philadelphia, where he stopped to pick up more mail. He flies over the Washington Polo Field upon arrival. We see his airplane being unloaded as he jumps down from cockpit and crowds watch. Views of first transatlantic flight begins with takeoff of three out of four existing United States Navy Curtiss flying boat aircraft from Newfoundland, on May 16, 1919. Curtiss flying boats NC-1, NC-3, NC-4 are seen at takeoff from Newfoundland on first leg of the transatlantic journey. Flying Boat NC-4 is also seen at one of its foreign ports, though which is unclear (Azores, Lisbon, or England).
Glimpse of the U.S. Capitol dome. Members of Congress and associated staff and other persons are seen gathering in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC , on April 2, 1917,. for the first session of the 65th U.S. Congress of the United States (following a special session in March). Many people sit on the steps and others gather in clusters. Scene shifts to Jeannette Rankin, Republican representative from Montana, and the first woman elected to Congress. She and a man are trying to unfold a large American flag before the camera. Soon two more men help and they hold the flag spread out as Representative Rankin poses in front of it. Next, James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark, Democratic representative from Missouri (who would be elected Speaker of the House) shakes hands with James Robert Mann, Republican representative from Illinois, who served as House Minority Leader from 1911-1919. Elsewhere in Washington, Jeannette Rankin stands with suffragist Carrie Catt, in the back of an open car in front of the Washington D.C. headquarters of the National Woman's Suffrage Association. Rankin holds a bouquet of flowers. An American flag is displayed nearby. Next the car is seen pulling away, causing Rankin to fall back and sit, from where she was standing, in the back seat. Two more cars full of women follow. A cordon of police officers begins to move a crowd back, and two mounted policemen direct people away from the Capitol buildings. (Note: In this first session of the 65th Congress , on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declaration war on Germany.)
U.S. soldiers place planks on exit side of the old covered bridge (built 1818) on the Lincoln Highway, over the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, during the 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy journey from Washington DC, to San Francisco. A truck of the convoy, then drives slowly over those planks easing it down from the bridge floor to the lower dirt road. At another crossing point, near Chambersburg, a soldier removes lower boards from a bridge covering to allow a tall army truck to exit. Meanwhile, another truckpasses without difficulty on an immediate adjacent lane of the bridge.
Trucks of the 1919 U.S. Army Motor Transport convoy from Washington, DC to San Francisco, California, roll along the dirt road of the Lincoln Highway, crossing the Continental Divide, in Wyoming. Behind them, soldiers walk near a slow moving truck with sign painted on its back reading: "Coast to Coast Machine Shop, Service Park Unit 595." Another truck slowly passes the same point, where there is a downhill grade. A dwelling is at the side of the road, and others are seen in the background. The road is dry hard-packed dirt. Next, trucks of the convoy are seen driving on a road parallel to a railroad on which a steam locomotive is pushing a long train of freight cars in the same direction as the trucks. View of trucks driving past extended snake rail fencing.