Shows several aviation "firsts" accomplished by U.S. Army Air Service aviators in the period from 1918 through 1924. A close formation of biplanes in flight. President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson chat with Major Fleet, Officer in charge, on the occasion of the first air mail flight, inaugurated on May 15,1918 between Washington DC and New York.The mail is loaded into the Curtis JN-4 aircraft. Pilot in the cockpit. The aircraft takes off and in flight. Air Service. Mention of aviators helping spot forest fires. Smoke rising from forest fires and mountain ranges. In 1920, U.S. Army Captain St. Clair Streett is seen with some of his Squadron who flew four De Havilland DH-4 aircraft 9,000 miles, from New York City to Nome, Alaska. Two of the men play with pet dogs. Their itinerary is painted on the side of one of the aircraft, along with the names of pilot and mechanic (C.E. Crumline and J.E. Long). In 1923 the first non stop coast-to-coast flight was made in the Fokker T-2 aircraft. . A sign on the aircraft reads 'Army Air Service non stop coast to coast'.First Lieutenants Oakley O.Kelly and John A. Macready board the aircraft, at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, on May 2, 1923. Their Fokker T-2 in flight. Their arrival at Rockwell Field, on Coronado Island (San Diego) California. In 1924, Lt. Russell Maughan is seen boarding his P-1 Hawk airplane at Mitchel Field, on Long Island, New York, and taking off , bound for Crissy Field at the Presidio, San Francisco, California. His goal is the first dawn-to-dusk, coast-to-coast flight. Views of his P-1 Hawk airplane flying over Manhattan, New York City.
Men load a DC-3 airplane with mail bags. Transport truck brings more mail. 1918 Map of United States connects New York with Washington. 1923, 1928, 1933 and 1938 maps show further connections: Chicago, Salt Lake, San Francisco and other destinations. Men load mail bags on a plane. The DC-3 plane takes off. Dirigible in background.
United States sailors visit Washington DC. West side of the Capitol from the Botanical Garden. Pennylvania Avenue as seen from the U.S. Treasury Building. Traffic along Pennylvania Avenue. The Lincoln Memorial.
Sailors descend the steps of building. The south entrance of the White House. A sailor looks at the Washington Monument from Tidal Basin. The sailors in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
A film titled 'Dawn Strikes the Capitol Dome' depicts an impressionistic study of Washington DC on a typical day during the Great Depression in the mid 1930s. The U.S. Capitol Building. The Washington Monument. Vehicles driven on a street. A man crossing a wide street of Washington DC. Policemen control the traffic. A woman runs on a street. A horse drawn carriage on the street and a sign reads 'Thompson Dairy'. A man gets down from the dairy carriage to deliver milk bottles. Traffic on the streets. A woman sweeps a house. A man breaks apart a large ice block into smaller chunks. A man waters a garden. A train arrives at Union Station, with closeup view from tracks as locomotive comes to a halt just in front of the camera position. A Pullman car porter places a Pullman step stool on the ground and passengers exit the train. People board a street car or trolley car with sign indicating it is bound for Chevy Chase Maryland. A man in shabby clothing, possibly unemployed jobless seated on a pathway; he stands and walks off. People exit a city bus when it comes to a stop. Construction of a wide sidewalk and men at work building the sidewalk path. Equestrian statue of Ulysses Grant riding Cincinnati on Capitol Hill. A saddle goods and leather shop with a statue of a horse in front of the store. Construction of a building underway, and a steam shovel at work excavating. A Washington street and buildings on either side of the street. A sign reads 'Right Turn Now'. A policeman directs traffic. Elevated views of car and streetcar or trolley traffic on the streets of Washington DC. Another policeman controls the traffic. Many 1930s era automobiles are seen. Point of view shot from inside a moving streetcar or trolley on roads of Washington DC; view of street car driver and passengers riding in the street car. Civilians ride bicycles. A large wheel tricycle leans against a tree in the background. Men attached to ropes work trimming tops of a tree. Sport equestrian riders ride horses on a large green area with the Lincoln Memorial in the background. A person tees off a golf ball on the National Mall. A sign reads 'Do Not Talk to Guard'. Men dive off diving boards in a swimming pool. Children play and splash in the waters of the Columbus Fountain sculpture at Union Station. A sail boat underway on the Potomac River. A woman holds a pet parrot bird on her finger and talks to it. A sign reds 'Please Give The Garden A Chance' as a man walks right beside it. A man lying on grass beside the Potomac River. Brief view of the Lieutenant General George Washington equestrian statue at Washington Circle.
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 U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) Alaska Flight of 1934 departing Fairbanks Alaska on flight back to Washington, DC. Their YB-10 aircraft are seen in a line on the airfield. Spectators are at the edge of the field to see them off. Next, the aircraft are seen taxiing out for takeoff, with their Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Arnold, piloting the lead aircraft, the "City of Fairbanks." Other aircraft follow in succession. Colonel Arnold's airplane takes off and proceeds in a shallow climb. Slate tells first leg is 640 miles to Juneau in 3 hours and 55 minutes. Map shows North America with outbound course to Alaska from Washington, DC, traversing the Great Lakes, Edmonton, Prince George, and White Horse, to Fairbanks. But a moving arrow shows return route via Juneau. Snow-covered mountains seen from a YB-10 on this return leg. Aerial shots of several YB-10s in formation. Slate announces next leg as 940 miles and 5 hours and 40 minutes to Seattle, Washington State. Aircraft and crews of the returning Alaska Flight, seen on a grass field in Seattle. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Arnold, expedition commander, leads his fliers across the field. Slate states remaining distance to Washington, DC, as 2700 miles and 14 hours. More shots of YB-10s in formation aloft. Shot of a YB-10 with farmland below. Ten YB-10s seen in formation, and the animated map completes the journey to Washington, DC. Aerial view from above of several YB-10s below, flying over the Potomac River, in Washington, DC, with the Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington Memorial bridge visible below. The formation of 10 planes barely visible above the Capitol building. The YB-10 named Juneau, taxiing across Bolling Field, after landing. (This segment of film is reversed, so the name and Alaska Flight logo are mirror-reversed.) The last of the 10 aircraft pulls into position on the flightline. Lieutenant Colonel Henry (Hap) Arnold stands in front of his fliers who hold a large totem pole souvenir. Secretary of War, George H. Dern, greets the returning aviators and poses next to Colonel Arnold.