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Building the Golden Gate Bridge ()

Great footage from 1930s of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in every phase of construction. Stock shots of completed bridge; informative narration; explanative illustrations illuminate bridges dimensions and other structural aspects of design.

A Ride on the Subway -- 1905 (1905)

Photographed May 21, 1905, Interborough Subway, 14 St. to 42nd St., New York, N.Y. The camera platform was on the front of a New York subway train following another train on the same track. Lighting is provided by a specially constructed work car on a parallel track. At the time of filming, the subway was only seven months old, having opened on October 27, 1904. The ride begins at 14th Street (Union Square) following the route of today's east side IRT, and ends at the old Grand Central Station, built by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1869. The Grand Central Station in use today was not completed until 1913.

Uncle Franks Farm (1921)

Story of a new migrant working on the rail, bought a farm with money he saved and applying new methods to farming and life

Manhatta (1921)

A portrait of New York by painter Charles Sheeler and photographer Paul Strand. The title cards show quotes from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

Newsreel from 1924 (1924)

This early silent newsreel features footage of President and Mrs. Coolidge at the White House and the construction of a new park in Placerville, CA.

Wheels of Progress (1927)

This 1927 silent film details the progress of transportation in the years since 1897 and focuses on the benefits of a good public road system.

Today and Yesterday -- 1929 (1929)

This newsreel, from 1929 explores progress in transportation, fashion and other areas in the 25 years since 1903.

Roosevelt's First Inauguration -- 1933 (1933)

Rare newsreel video of FDR's first inauguration.

Jimmy Durante and the NRA (1933)

This short film features popular entertainer Jimmy Durante extolling the benefits of the National Recovery Administration, a New Deal program which attempted to eliminate competition by encouraging businesses to fix prices and agree upon so called fair practices codes. Most of the NRA provisions were later ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936)

The Plow That Broke the Plains is a 1936 short documentary film which shows what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz. The film was narrated by the American actor and baritone Thomas Hardie Chalmers.

A Ride for Cinderella (1937)

A Ride for Cinderella is a 1937 Technicolor cartoon sponsored film, and is a sequel to A Coach for Cinderella. The storyline is simple: Cinderella meets her young prince, but has to leave him when the clock turns to midnight. Meanwhile, the head dwarf has to stop the wicked witch, hired by the evil stepsisters, ruining Cinderella's chance of getting married to the prince. The cartoon is actually an advertisement for Chevrolet, and it's a Chevrolet that helps Cinderella get her prince. The cartoon was made the Jam Handy Organization, famous for their advertising films.

Spot News (1937)

The Chevrolet Motor Company uses pictures of their latest cars in a dramatization of how photographs are transmitted by wire, an exciting new technology in the 1930s .

Rain for the Earth (1937)

This WPA film focuses on social and economic wastes resulting from continued drought in the midwestern dust bowl and efforts of the federal government in attempting to remedy such conditions. Several views indicate the condition of the land from which much of the moisture has gone.

We Work Again (1937)

n the 1930s, the economic depression has been especially hard on African-American families and communities. But the federal government's Works Progress Administration now provides many new opportunities for employment and advancement. Both skilled and unskilled laborers are employed in many public works projects. Others find work in a wide range of fields, including education, medicine, and even music and the performing arts.

Back of the Mike (1938)

Back of the Mike is a short film done in 1937 for the Chevrolet Motor Company depicting the behind the scenes look at the making of a Western radio show. This documentary shows the various ways sound effects are created during the broadcast.

The City (1939)

This documentary film shows efforts at reversing the decay that had settled upon many American cities during the depression, including alternatives such as suburban planned communities.

To New Horizons (1940)

Definitive document of pre-World War II futuristic utopian thinking, as envisioned by General Motors. Documents the Futurama exhibit in GM's Highways and Horizons pavilion at the World's Fair, which looks ahead to the wonder world of 1960.

Valley Town (1940)

A documentary examining the effects of industrial automation on a small American town.

Coney Island (1940)

Newsreel footage of Coney Island, one of the most popular entertainment sites in the early 20th century.

Easy Does It (1940)

Measuring the effort involved in women's work around the home.

Dial Comes to Town (1940)

Gramps does not like much. He especially does not fancy the idea of the new dial phones that are soon to replace the old phones in town. Indignant he calls up his friend and we see the way phones worked before the dial telephone replaced them. Gramps' questioning of the new phones falls along the lines of, 'why change something that is not broken?' He learns the answer to this question, and many more, when forced to a town meeting held to explain how to use the new dial phones and what they mean for the community.

News Parade 1940 (1940)

A newsreel compilation showing several events of the year, most human interest stuff.

Big News of 1941 (1941)

This newsreel compilation details the most significant news stories of the previous year.

Always Tomorrow (1941)

Dramatized history of the Coca-Cola company and some of the people who participated in its origin and growth. Made in the style of a feature film.

Prelude to War (1942)

Prelude to War was the first film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda film series, commissioned by the Office of War Information (OWI) and George C. Marshall. It was made to convince American troops of the necessity of combating the Axis Powers during World War II. The film was based on the idea that those in the service would be more willing and able fighters if they knew the background and reason for their participation in the war. It was later released to the general American public as a rallying cry for support of the war.

It's Everybody's War (1942)

This is a government film, narrated by Henry Fonda, that was produced to help mobilize and motivate Americans to participate in the war effort.

Pearl Harbor (1942)

This short film, produced by the US Government without narration, includes intense and touching scenes of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

News Parade Pearl Harbor (1942)

Newsreel coverage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the fire that gutted the SS Normandie while it was being converted to a troopship in 1942.

The Nazis Strike (1943)

The Nazis Strike was the second film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda film series. It introduces Germany as a nation whose aggressive ambitions began in 1863 with Otto von Bismarck and with the Nazis as their latest incarnation.

Divide and Conquer (1943)

Divide and Conquer (1943) is the third film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda film series, dealing with the Nazi conquest of Western Europe in 1940. The film begins immediately after the fall of Poland. Of the two major Western Allies of 1940, the United Kingdom is first to be mentioned. The role of the Royal Navy in blockading Germany is highlighted, in that it means that Germany must overcome British resistance in order to clear the way for its world conquest.

The Battle of Britain (1943)

The Battle of Britain was the fourth of Frank Capra's Why We Fight series of seven propaganda films, which made the case for fighting and winning the Second World War. It was released in 1943 and concentrated on the German bombardment of the United Kingdom in anticipation of Operation Sea Lion, the planned Nazi invasion of Great Britain.

Women on the Warpath (1943)

Ford Motor Company tribute to the women workers who heard the call and volunteered with the military or industry to contribute to the allied war effort, especially in the Detroit area.

Since Pearl Harbor (1943)

Since Pearl Harbor is a 1943 short documentary film commissioned by the United States Government during World War II. It is a report to the American People regarding the wartime activities of the American Red Cross since the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith (1943)

Tom Smith, an American pilot, is shot down and captured by the Japanese. While imprisoned and awaiting execution, he recalls his life at home in the USA.

Food and Magic (1943)

A sideshow barker uses magic and visual aids to alert the public that proper food management is both a resource and a weapon that could be to America's advantage if conserved properly in winning the then current World War.

No Exceptions (1943)

Short subject intended to promote unified action and sacrifice by Americans on the home front during the war.

Our Enemy The Japanese (1943)

Our Enemy The Japanese was a 1943 short film produced by the US Navy and Office of War Information to provide background knowledge about the wartime foe.

The Battle of China (1944)

The Battle of China (1944) was the sixth film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda film series. It follows an introduction to Chinese culture and history with the modern history of China and the founding of the Republic of China by Sun Yat-sen, leading on to the Japanese invasion. The invasion of China is explained in terms of the four-step plan for Japanese conquest, mentioned in the Tanaka Memorial.

Battle of Russia (1944)

Documentary revealing the nature and process of the fight between the Soviet Union and Germany in the Second World War. Part 5 of the Why We Fight series.

A Journey (1944)

A Journey presents the cooperative efforts of the home front to solve war time problems in four cities across the United States. Scenes include citizens working to create temporary housing and schools in war production cities like Mobile, Alabama and volunteers from Cache Valley, Utah unloading train cars transporting military supplies.

The Valley of the Tennessee (1944)

The Valley of the Tennessee is a film showing the hardships of agriculture before the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) came in and built many dams to help prevent the problems of flooding, erosion, and poor irrigation. Before the TVA built its many dams there was a lot of farms, houses, and lives lost due to flooding. With the building of the dams and educating of the farmers in the Tennessee River Valley, the TVA helped better the area for generations to come.

Surrender in the Pacific (1945)

A documentary detailing the events following the Japanese surrender in 1945.

War Comes to America (1945)

Part VII of the Why We Fight series of wartime documentaries. This entry attempts to describe the factors leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.

A Rural Community: Holtville, Alabama (1945)

This film documents daily life in the small, rural community of Holtville, Alabama.Made possible by a donation from John and Paige Curran.

The March of Time: The French Campaign (1945)

The episode follows the French campaign in 1944 from the beaches in Normandy to the liberation of Paris.

Tuesday in November (1945)

Tuesday in November was a propaganda short about the 1944 United States presidential election produced by the Office of War information for overseas distribution. It is meant to explain how the democratic process in America works.

VJ Day (1945)

Newsreel coverage of the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II on 14 August 1945.

The Town (1945)

The Town presents an idealized vision of American life, shown in microcosm by Madison, Indiana. The diversity of the town's ethnic origins is highlighted, noting the Czech, Dutch, German, and Italian communities, some of whom were immigrants or children of immigrants. Schools are shown to be free and open to all, as are libraries and swimming pools. The press is depicted as free. Some people are shown who don't like the current administration in Washington, and don't like the newspaper's policy, but the newspaper prints their complaint. Trials are conducted in front of a jury, for all the world to see. The prosecutor serves as the judge's opponent in the last election, and even said he was unfit for office, but they work together anyway. Everyone had the right to vote, from the store keeper, to the attorney himself. In a democracy, the only thing that is secret is the ballot.

Tomorrow Television (1945)

A U.S. Army production that speculates about the future of television after World War II.

17 Days: The Story of Newspaper History In The Making (1945)

How a New York City newspaper delivery drivers strike in 1945 failed to divert readers interest in their favorite newspapers. Shows the newspapers of the day and huge lines of people outside newspaper offices waiting to purchase updated editions.

Mr Bell (1947)

As this presentation shows, Alexander Graham Bell was committed to the deaf community. His research lead him to create the telephone in 1876.

The Columbia (1949)

Historic look at the Columbia River and its development. Woody Guthrie was hired by BPA in 1941 to write the songs for this movie, but its production was delayed by World War II. Produced in 1949 in black and white, this film contains rare footage of Grand Coulee Dam construction, Indian fishing at Celilo Falls and the 1948 Vanport flood.

Atomic Attack (1950)

A family living 50 miles away try to flee from the fallout of an atomic bomb that fell on New York City.

A Date With Your Family (1950)

A Date with Your Family is a 1950 10-minute social engineering short film presented by Simmel-Meservey, directed by Edward G. Simmel, and written by Arthur V. Jones to primarily show youth how to act and behave with parents during dinner to have a pleasant time. The subject family consists of a father, mother and their offspring, the sister, older brother and the younger junior. The narrator tells what happens with the family; what should happen during the meal, what types of manners and socializing should be exhibited to not sour the time with your family and what should not happen. There are many stereotypical views of each person to coincide with the preferred image of a nuclear family in the post-war era of the 1950s.

Tulsa Oklahoma (1950)

A United States Information Service documentary film from the 1950's. Shows the history and role of Tulsa as a marketing center for Oklahoma's farm region and the oil industry with many scenes of typical 1950's life in America.

This Charming Couple (1950)

Marriage training film dramatizing a partnership too fraught with conflicts to survive. Produced as part of a post-World War II initiative to make marriages more sustainable in the face of postwar dislocation. An unusually literate, neo-realist film produced by a talented group of documentarians.

Singing Wires (1951)

Sings the praises of rural electrification. Story of a farm family whose work and play are transformed when their place is hooked up to the grid.

Duck and Cover (1951)

This iconic film short was produced by the US Government to teach school aged children what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

Nation at Your Fingertips (1951)

How direct long distance dialing made the U.S. a smaller place, and how instantaneous direct communication between Americans without operator assistance became possible.

A Day in the Life of a Small Town (1952)

This documentary film provides a glimpse of community life in a small town in the 1950s

The American Road (1953)

The American Road is an epic documentary that tells both the history of the automobile in America and the story of the Ford Motor Company. Drawing on the Company's vast archive of films -- Henry Ford spent a great deal of time and money having crews film life in everyday America -- the movie shows how mass production of the automobile transformed life in America.

Give Yourself the Green Light (1954)

Advocacy film produced to garner public support for the creation of the Interstate Highway System.

Lets Face IT (1954)

This government film shows some of the systems in place during the US-USSR Cold War to inform and protect the nation in the event of a nuclear attack.

Miracle on the Delaware (1955)

Mid-Fifties slices of life and landscape in Philadelphia and surrounding towns. With excellent color footage of downtown scenes, neighborhoods, the Mummers Parade, Levittown, factories in Camden, New Jersey, and many other subjects that can no longer be seen.

The Story of Television (1956)

Shows efforts of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the creation, development and introduction of the all-electronic TV system; explains how science made television a working reality. David Sarnoff tells of the early research and experiments. Shown is the first successful picture tube, the first experimental TV station, the problems of improving piucture quality and reducing the size and cost of components at the transmitting and receiving ends, and the function of mobile units.

Design for Dreaming (1956)

Set at the 1956 General Motors Motorama, this is one of the key Populuxe films of the 1950s, showing futuristic dream cars and Frigidaire's Kitchen of the Future.

Sound and the Story (1956)

The entire process of recording and manufacturing of phonograph records in 1956 is explained.

Telegram for America (1956)

This Western Union film shows a brief history of the telegraph, followed by the latest 1950s telegram technology.

New Moon (1957)

This newsreel clip announces the launch of the Soviet Sputnik, the first artificial satellite launched into Earth orbit.

In The Suburbs (1957)

Life in the suburbs has its good and bad moments, but most people who live there want to be there. The suburbs are populated primarily by traditional young families, who can talk to each other about their common lives. Redbook Magazine provides a source of advice for these families, who are experiencing something new together in their suburban living style, such as home living, raising children, shopping (especially in the suburban phenomenon called the shopping mall), automobile care, entertaining and being entertained.

Social Class in America (1957)

Shows the differences in the life experience of three male babies from three different social classes. One young man succeeds his father as president of the family manufacturing company. Another, a middle-class white-collar worker at the same company, leaves the town of his birth and moves to New York City where he becomes a respected advertising art director, thus rising in social status. A third, born into the working class, trains as a mechanic and holds an influential job at a service station.

American Look (1958)

A tribute to the American designer presented by Chevrolet. The first half of this film is a collage of 1950's American design from appliances to architecture, the second half follows the design process of a new Chevrolet automobile from the early sketches to a full sized model and finally the finish product.

Hear and Now (1958)

How radio brings news and information to Americans. With footage of many news events covered by radio and images everyday life in the late 1950s.

Integration Report (1960)

Documentary showing the civil rights movement in 1959 and 1960: sit-ins, marches, boycotts and rallies in Montgomery, Ala., Brooklyn, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. Directed by Madeline Anderson.

Village Sunday (1960)

Exploration of the colorful counterculture of Greenwich Village in the early 1960s.

American Maker (1960)

Relates how Americans build, from youth throughout life, by using their ingenuity not only in technological advancement but in everyday efforts by everyone.

Space Triumph (1960)

Discoverer XIII capsule recovered 333 miles from Hawaii, 50-star flag taken from capsule and given to President Eisenhower. Echo I satellite launched by Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral the next day, relayed telephone call west coast.

The Big Bounce (1960)

The story of the Echo communications satellite project, and how scientists learned to bounce a radio signal off a big balloon.

Red Threat (1962)

Universal Newsreel coverage of President Kennedys speech regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.

The Wall (1962)

A government film about the construction of the Berlin Wall and its effect on the people of the city.

The Road to the Wall (1962)

This 1962 documentary details the rise of communism in the Soviet Union and other nations, culminating in the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and its effect on the people. Narrated by James Cagney.

Red Nightmare (1962)

A man takes his American freedoms for granted, until he wakes up one morning to find out that the United States Government has been replaced with a Communist system. The basis for this short film, narrated by Jack Webb, is the alleged Soviet re-creation of US communities for the purpose of training infiltrators, spies, and moles.

Century 21 Calling (1962)

Romp through the futuristic landscape of the Seattle World's Fair, centered in the Bell System pavilion.

Kennedy Assassination (1963)

CBS live coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on 22 November 1963.

The Changing City (1963)

The Changing City discusses of the problems cities faced due to big business, population growth, and urban sprawl. It has many scenes of Orange County suburbia in the early 60's. Full of wonderful cultural footage, there are excellent aerial shots, billboards, advertisements for new housing developments, shopping malls and more. The film outlines the logistical issues such traffic congestion in the cities, but goes even deeper into the psychological aspects of city life.

Henry Ford's Mirror of America (1963)

This documentary was compiled by the National Archives and the Ford Motor Company in 1963, and shows scenes of U.S. History, culture, industry and daily life between about 1915 and 1930. In 1963, the Ford Motor Company donated about 5,000 films to the National Archives as a gift to the American people.?This film was created to showcase highlights of that collection

Cause Without A Rebel (1965)

A documentary exploring political apathy among white college students at Northwestern University during the civil rights movement. The film contrasts traditional college activities (football games, hanging out, attending classes) with political activism (marching, speeches by Martin Luther King, getting arrested and police brutality, and racist violence). The film uses time lapse, slow-motion, and still frames to both indict and activate disengaged youth.

Peace March (1967)

Newsreel coverage of an April 1967 protest against the Vietnam War, including footage of draft card burning, Martin Luther King and other protest activities.

A Day in Vietnam (1967)

The government film, narrated by Jack Webb, gives a feel to what American troops were faced with in the jungles of Vietnam.

Why Vietnam (1967)

The program outlines U.S. policy as stated by President Johnson. Includes Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

Black Panthers (1968)

This film was shot during the summer of 1968 in Oakland, California around the meetings organized by the Black Panthers Party to free Huey Newton, one of their leaders, and to turn his trial into a political debate. They tried and succeeded in catching America's attention.

Apollo 11: The Eagle Has Landed (1969)

Through television, motion picture and still photography, this film provides an eye-witness perspective of the Apollo 11 mission that put a human on the moon in July 1969.