A film depicts an impressionistic study of Washington DC on a typical Great Depression day. Clark Mills's Lieutenant General George Washginton equestrian statue at Washington Circle. A cemetery and men work at the cemetery. They use a machine to help lift old grave markers up out of the ground. The grave markers appear to be circa civil war era. A marker with number 7566 on top is lifted out of the cemetery grounds. Elevated view of Pennsylvania Avenue, Old Post Office Building seen on right, and traffic on the street. Close up elevated view of 1930's automobiles stopped a stop light. Several views of 1935 year license plates or number plates of cars from various states including California, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin, and Ohio . A horse eats food from a bucket. A woman seated on a footpath drinks and enjoys lunch. A family seated around a table during a lunch break. People at the National Zoo. They look at animals and stand behind a cage. A young girl plays with leopard cubs. Picnickers seated in a garden, with cars on roadway behind, possibly Rock Creek Park area. A close up of a young girl eating. Children swinging on a swing set.
Exterior view of Pan American Union Building in Washington DC, with a 1930s Packard four door sedan-limousine parked in front. A man entering the building. Jefferson Caffery, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, seated in an office and reviewing paperwork. Narrator describes the creation of the Good Neighbor Fleet (where Moore-McCormack Lines, also called Mooremack, was contracted to run three ocean liners of the U.S. Maritime Commission between the USA and South America, called the Good Neighbor Fleet.) Close up picture of brochure advertising the new fleet, and picturing the three ships (The California, Virginia and Pennsylvania from the former Panama Pacific Line, with new names Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina.) Next scene shows 3 men meeting (this is possibly Moore-McCormack Lines founder Albert V. Moore, on right, seated at a table and in discussion, possibly with U.S. Maritime officials. Man on left is possibly Emmet McCormack.) Passengers aboard liner SS Brazil as it departs port. Crowd on docks wave at the ship leaving New York harbor. View from on board SS Brazil in New York Harbor as a nearby tug boat sprays water. Skyline and skyscrapers of New York City's Manhattan Island seen in background. Map of South America showing route of a Good Neighbor ship. Good Neighbor Fleet ships at a harbor in South America. U.S. State Department diplomats in South America beside one of the ships as fleet service is inaugurated. Exterior view of Pan American Union building and its sign in Washington DC (later called the building of the Organization of American States). President Ortiz of Argentina, President Alfredo Baldomir of Uruguay, and President Vargas of Brazil are shown in discussion with various officials.
History of the circus in North America. Scenes of drawings, sketches, still photographs, and newspaper clippings regarding the circus. Cites George Washington donating a horse to the circus. Discussion of18th Century English circus organizer, John Bill Ricketts, and a newspaper clipping promoting his circus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sketch of his circus hall in Philadelphia. Scenes and information about P.T. Barnum and the famous elephant Jumbo, and singer Jenny Lind, known as "the Swedish Nightingale." Drawing of men with rings standing on stools. Drawing of a cab in front of a building. Promotional sign for the Central Park Menagerie and International Circus Company. Vintage footage with scenes of a Ringling Brother Barnum and Bailey circus train arriving in a city circa late 1920s, pulled by a steam locomotive. Circus performers. Crowds of circus goers milling near a Side Shows entrance sign. A clown inflating the clothes of another clown to a giant size. Chimpanzee rides an elephant and a donkey stands near its foal. Lions, hippos, giraffes, dogs in the circus. Large crowd present during the circus viewing elephant, horse and lion show of the circus. Scenes of the circus parade processing around the big top tent. A tamer handling a female lion (tamer appears to be Clyde Beatty). A male lion walking on high wire parallel tightrope.
Hard times in the Great Depression led to formation of The Bonus Army. American veterans of World War 1 march on streets of Washington DC, carrying a large poster demanding immediate cash redemption their "bonus" service certificates awarded by Congress in 1924 (but not lawfully payable until 1945). Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur, ordered by President Hoover, to clear the Bonus Army encampments, is seen standing in a street surrounded by several U.S. Army troops. People watch from sidewalks as a contingent of U.S. Army cavalry rides down the street. U.S. Army M-1917 tanks roll down Pennsylvania Avenue in July 1932. Bonus marchers and others watch from Lafayette Park in background. Scene shifts to the 1932 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago Stadium, Chicago, where delegates cheer after nominating Franklin D. Roosevelt as their Presidential candidate. Roosevelt seen waving from the podium. Migrant farm workers seen at temporary, dilapidated dwellings in close quarters, and sitting at a campfire, some with sad and desperate faces. Migrant farm workers' cars on the road, piled high with family belongings during westward migration. Migrants riding atop an open railroad freight car. Two men share a copy of the "Epic News" newspaper (published by supporters of Upton Sinclair and the End Poverty Movement in Los Angeles and central California). Narrator describes programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Construction workers ignite demolition charges during construction of Boulder Dam (aka Hoover Dam and officially so-named in 1947). Glimpse of President Roosevelt at the site in an open car, for its dedication on September 30, 1935. Construction workers engaged in building the dam. Another shot of President Roosevelt in his open car. Towers being erected to carry electric power from the dam's hydroelectric generators. President Franklin D. Roosevelt smiling broadly at the formal dedication ceremony, September 30, 1935. Controlled discharges of water through the dam. Views of the Boulder Dam hydroelectric generating station. Oil well rigs or oil derricks at work during construction at night. People at work in fabric mills or textile mills, and in a print shop
A parade during Pennsylvania Day on the National Pike in Washington, Pennsylvania. A crowd watches the parade in front of a county courthouse, an F.W. Woolworth Store, and a Keystone Stores Food Market. Floats and vehicles pass along the street, with displays of early road vehicles and wagons. Floats depictions include 'Claysville, PA' with a tollgate, 'U.S. 40...Old Indian Trail', 'One of the original Conestoga Wagons...Brownsville, PA', 'Centerville, PA', and 'Ben Reynolds and Company..established 1900...First effort to whitewash poles on national pike between Washington and Claysville. Made by this group in 1912..Ben Reynold, George Thompson, E.S. McLeod and others' Notables include U.S. Secretary of Labor James J. Davis, Senator Frank J. Harris and State Treasurer General Edward Martin.
Men work assembling transmissions on an automobile production line. John L. Lewis, President of the United Mine Workers Union, giving a speech supporting formation of the Congress of Industrial organizations (CIO). Group of workers gather to listen to a union speaker. Many wear miners hats. Cheering Union workers march in street carrying posters reading: "Long-Live the C.I.O." and "Forward eith C.I.O." Leaders of the early C.I.O., Sidney Hillman,President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA); Philip Murray, Vice President of the C.I.O.; and John L. Lewis, C.I.O. President, circa 1938. David Dubinsky, President of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU); along with Sidney Hillman, and John L. Lewis, are seen mingling with clothing workers. View of a steel mill from workers' residential street on a snowy day. Steel worker in a mill. Deckhand and an engine man aboard a merchant ship. Roustabouts and riggers at an oil well. Nonferris metal miner in rail car. Worker in tire factory. Electrical worker. Union leader speaking to group of workers carrying banner reading: "Shirt workers, Local 128 Allentown, Pennsylvania Joint Board." Labor organizers passing out leaflets to workers leaving a factory. Labor discussions with workers at lunch tables. Draftsman preparing labor organization signs calling for "Sanitary Conditions" and "Fair Play." Working women singing a union song. Union workers marching and carrying signs for various causes. Man riding a bicycle displaying sign:"Don't Scab." Car overloaded with people with sign: "Come To Lafollette Labor Rally Monday, July 5, 1937." ACWA workers of Local 95, Atlas Plant. UMWA members of Lafollette, Tennessee. Miners playing cards and playing musical instruments. Miners on strike below in mine for 5 days, cheer leader. Poster encouraging Americans to travel and visit in the USA. Police injure several persons during labor protests in San Francisco. U.S. Army soldiers arresting a civilian and throwing tear gas grenades.