Documentary depicts the end of the 1920s good times in the U.S., leading into the Great Depression. Mildred Unger, age 10, performs a wing walker charleston dance while out on the wing of a JN-4 "Jenny" airplane in flight over Los Angeles in 1926.Four girls dancing on the top of a building higher than those around it, in Boston, Massachusetts. Amusement park patrons riding a roller coaster. People out driving through a park in their automobiles. Patrons enjoying themselves at the Steeplechase amusement park in Coney Island, New York. A crane piling old cars in a heap at a junk yard. But following the Wall Street crash of 1929, conditions change in America. Group of people receiving food assistance in a city. A man, woman, and baby, in a tent (probably migrant workers). The famous 1936 photo, "Migrant Mother" by Dorothea Lange, of migrant worker, Florence Owens Thompson, with two of her children. Men receiving food from a city soup kitchen. Dejected unemployed men.
Ford Model T cars being driven out the exit door of the Highland Park factory, Michigan,circa 1916. Numerous Model T cars driving on both sides of a divided highway. The Ford Highland Park Plant, circa 1920. Panoramic exterior views of the Ford River Rouge plant and factory buildings, circa 1930. A Ford Freighter ship, docked at the River Rouge plant. A view of the home of Henry and Clara Ford, at 66 Edison Road (now 140) Dearborn, Michigan, in 1914. Sketch of children coming home from school, singing song from McGuffey reader school book. View of schoolroom with McGuffey readers on desk. Street scene outside Ford Plant, during shift change, and street filled with workers. A car driving on empty road in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The historic Wayside Inn (immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Tales of the Wayside Inn") which Henry Ford purchased in 1923, to preserve for posterity. View of the original Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City, circa 1912. View of crowded sidewalks and street on 5th Avenue, and other street scenes in New York City, circa 1920. Model T Ford cars driving in U.S. National Parks. A visitor feeding a bear from his Ford car, as a Park Ranger stands nearby. People in Ford Model T, stopped by side of road to pick wild flowers. Two men remove a seat back from their Model T car to make a camper. Both men lying down in the car. Man carrying picnic basket from Ford Model T, parked beside a beach, where he joins the rest of his party on the sand. Children run along the beach, and stop to play with seaweed.
Franklin D. Roosevelt seen, well-dressed, in overcoat and hamburg hat, as a successful New York lawyer, in 1910, when he decides to run for a seat in the New York State Senate. He is seen greeting supporters outside his family home, Springwood, in Hyde Park New York, after winning the election. Very brief glimpse of Eleanor Roosevelt. Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, Democratic Party candidate for President, is seen with Franklin Roosevelt,Assistant Secretary of the Navy, whom he selects as his running mate, in 1920. View of Eleanor Roosevelt being recognized in the Democratic National Convention at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Views of Franklin Roosevelt driving in an open car and speaking before crowds during the campaign of 1920. One crowd is notable for the preponderance of straw boater hats worn and waved by the men in the audience. Scenes of family life, after defeat of the Cox-Roosevelt ticket. Eleanor Roosevelt with children: Anna Eleanor;Franklin Delano Jr. II; Elliot; James; and Anna's dog, in 1921, at their summer retreat on Campabello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), seated in a wicker chair in front yard of the Campobello house, smoking a pipe and writing on some papers. FDR standing with a cane.His mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, seated and conversing with FDR. Eleanor, with them, knitting as they converse. Political aid,Louis McHenry Howe.FDR posing with cane, alone, and with wife, Eleanor. Mrs. Roosevelt hosting a gathering at Springwood, to promote FDR's political future. Eleanor speaking at a political gathering.
At West Park, New York, the home of John Burroughs.Thomas Alva Edison,Harvey Samuel Firestone, Henry Ford and Burroughs. John Burroughs an American naturalist and Henry Ford founder of Ford Motor company burn wooden chips. Thomas Alva Edison an American inventor tackles fire with stick. John Burroughs and Henry Ford at work while Thomas Alva Edison stands near. John Burroughs and Henry Ford near fire. Harvey Samuel Firestone founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber company joins the group. Group at work. The whole party near the fire as they prepare a meal. They take a walk.
Franklin D. Roosevelt seen standing in courtyard of White House, with other officials. The old Executive Office Building is in the background. Democratic National Convention of July, 1920. Roosevelt is nominated as Vice Presidential candidate on ticket with James M. Cox. The two of them campaigning in San Francisco. Supporters parading. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt with their four children and dog, at Hyde Park in New York. Crowds gather to hear Roosevelt campaign speeches. Franklin D. Roosevelt returns to Hyde Park and is greeted by his mother. He speaks there and greets supporters. Roosevelt on chrutches (due to polio) standing with John W. Davis and Alfred Smith. Scenes of the Democratic National Convention of 1924, in New York.
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.