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.)
Film opens showing forward port section of the British Battleship HMS Prince of Wales in Placentia Bay, Argentia, Newfoundland. Next, Winston Churchill is seen greeting President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he arrives to meet with him during their Atlantic Conference in 1941. The President is assisted by his son, Army Captain James Roosevelt. The entire ship's company is seen assembled on deck for a church service. Closeup of President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and their principal advisors. all singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" during the service. Scene shifts to December 7, 1941, showing the American battleship USS Arizona and other battleships being bombed by Japanese aircraft. View shifts to the White House in Washington, DC. on July 19, 1940, President Roosevelt is broadcasting his speech to the Democratic National Convention, accepting nomination for an unprescedented 4th term as President. Views of ordinary Americans in various settings. Legislators congratulating the new Vice President, Harry S. Truman, after inauguration in January 1941. Truman seated and surrounded by staff and well-wishers. View of Truman, his wife, Bess and daughter Margaret, walking across the lawn at their home in Independence, Missouri. View of the three of them, inside their home, opening and sharing congratulatory messages received by the new Vice President. Immediately following FDR's death, now, President Truman is seen assuring the public that he will continue the course set by his predecessor. Glimpses of President Roosevelt seated in front of the White House and at his desk. In Yalta for the Big Three Conference, Roosevelt rides in a jeep as Prime Minister Churchill walks beside. Closeup of Roosevelt and Churchill. Participants gathering for the Yalta conference. Closeup of Roosevelt and Stalin. Churchill arriving and taking his seat. Closeup of the Big Three, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.
Newsreel clip of baseball star Joe DiMaggio, "The Yankee Clipper," extending his hitting streak to 42 against the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium in DC. Shot of large crowd in stands, most in white shirts. DiMaggio walks onto the field, kneels in on-deck circle with two bats. Senators pitcher Red Anderson (#18) throws a pitch. DiMaggio (with photographers positioned just a few feet away) hits it into left field for a single. DiMaggio slightly tips his cap at first base, gets pat on the back from first base coach. DiMaggio later comes around to score on another Yankee hit, is welcomed by teammates as he enters the dugout. DiMaggio poses for cameras in clubhouse after the game, a 7-5 Yankees victory. (Note: DiMaggio hitting streak would reach 56 games, which remains a record as of this writing, more than 70 years later.)
World-wide wartime activities during 1941 and 1942. President Roosevelt addresses Congress after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Crowd applauds. Citizens and cars stopped in busy New York listening to the news on the radio being broadcast regarding the declaration of war against Japan. Long queues and lines of civilian men get registered in the U.S. army as recruits are called up. Men taking oath of U.S. military service in New York and Washington DC (on U.S. Capitol steps) and other cities in mass recruitment events. New recruits stand in line in a city to register for U.S. Navy or U.S. Army service. New recruits shown include baseball star Joe Dimaggio, boxer Joe Louis, John Aspinwall Roosevelt (who was President Roosevelt's youngest son), Tyrone Power, Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks Junior, and Warren Pershing (son of famed General John Pershing) all seen registering to enter military service. Justice Frank Murphy of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen operating a machine gun during training. Another scene with a mass group of recruits standing and taking an oath of military service.
American President Franklin Roosevelt at the podium on the eve of Democratic Party Victory dinner in Washington DC, USA. President Roosevelt makes a speech. He says that his great ambition on January 20, 1941 will be to turn over this desk and chair in the White House to his successor, whoever he may be. He describes America as a Nation that is in a position to its powers to the full in order to move forward steadily to meet the modern needs of humanity. He speaks on the issue of slavery, for example. President says that economic freedom for the wage earner and the farmer and the small business man will not wait at all.
A summary report purporting to reflect phases of Japanese so-called "Tanaka Plan" beginning with Conquest of Manchuria, followed by Conquest of China; establishment of bases in South Pacific; and Conquest of the United States. Animated map shows pressure by German forces in offensive against Soviet Union and illustrates German air war against Britain. Scenes of bombing destruction in Britain, including overturned double-decker bus in ruins of buildings. A Nelson Class British battleship viewed from dead ahead. She is followed by the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. American newspaper headline reads:"Navy Bill Passes House." and "Huge Sum Voted for Two Ocean Navy." A line of U.S. Navy battleships underway, led by the USS Mississippi (BB-41). A field full of U.S. M3 Lee tanks moving in formation, as they are overflown by several Douglas B-18 bombers. Assembled Japanese leaders in a forum. Japanese Naval officers in a planning conference. Closeup shows Admirals Shigeyoshi Inoue and Raizō Tanaka pointing at a chart and conversing as other officers look on. Next, bomb bursts and black smoke rises as the attack on Pearl Harbor is underway. The USS West Virginia, USS Tennessee, and the USS Arizona, burning on Battleship row, during the attack. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek with staff officers walks to a waiting car. Forces allied with China, including American troops marching; British troops marching; and Dutch Colonial troops marching (in Batavia, the Capital of the Dutch East Indies). Japanese troops continuing their conquest of China, firing a field piece, and infantry charging. Newspapers announce Japanese advances into Malay Peninsula and Hong Kong. Others cite fall of Singapore fortress and of Corregidor (6 May, 1942). Animated map shows Japanese occupation encompassing Indo-china, Thailand,and Burma (with loss of the Burma road) all of which compounded China's war efforts.