Newsreels 1938-39 (all silent)

1938/03/21 - World-Wide News Events (1) "Nazi Army Sweeps Old Austria Into Subjection - The ancient state of Austria ceases to exist as motorized bands of Nazi troops hurtle across her frontiers at Innsbruck, Kufstein and Salzburg, destroying Customs barriers and plastering villages, towns and cities with Swastika flags, Seyss-Inquart, Austrian Nazi, seizes power in Vienna and stands by to welcome the invading troops and officials. Schuschmigg is imprisoned in Belvedere Castle as Germany's military forces enter the old capital by night. Actual motion pictures show every detail of the amazing coup that brought about the destruction of Austrian independence." (2) New York City: "Enormous caricatures of the Nazi-in-Chief are hanged in effigy by a crowd of thousands of Americans radicals who jam Times Square at theatre hour until police disperse the gathering." (3) Miami, Florida: " Engineers find a real safety tread after two years of research. The new tread is designed to keep automobile tires from skidding under the most difficult circumstances, and it does!" (4) Venice CA: "The bathing beauties find that cracked ice makes a swell toboggan slide from sunlit beach to rumbling surf. The slide's good for skiing too, if you don't mind the bumps." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-651 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/04/04 - Scores Die As Twister Hits (1) Columbus, Kansas: "States from Oklahoma to Illinois are ripped by a terrific tornado that tears its way through the section. Thirty-six are known dead and hundreds injured. Farms and homes are crushed by the twister's wrath." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-655 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/04/27 - Senate Head Gets New Lid (1) Washington DC: "Vice-President Garner, feeling the urge of spring, decides to buy himself a new hat. He tries on a couple of rakish numbers, but Mrs. Garner finally helps him make up his mind." (2) World-Wide News Events - Henry Ford Visits Roosevelt - Washington DC: "The motor magnate, accompanied by his son, Edsel, visits the White House t lunch with the President. A large crowd sees him leave after he and FDR talk over the nation's economic crisis." (3) Shanghai, China: "The international battalions of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps hold their annual review with fixed bayonets. A record crowd turns out to cheer the force which was so valuable in last winter's siege." (4) Plainfield NJ: "High school students refuse to attend classes until a dismissed athletic instructor is reinstated. Staging a parade, they tie up traffic by dancing the shag in the street." (5) London, England: "Eamon De Valera, Prime Minister of Ireland, signs a far reaching British-Irish trade and defense pact, that promises an ending to the 700 year old feud between the two countries." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-662 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/05/02 - Fleet Back From War Games (1) San Pedro CA: U.S. Fleet Arrives Home From Record Maneuvers - "Uncle Sam's battle wagons return from secret maneuvers in the Pacific, 50,000 gobs, tired of seeing the world through a porthole, speed to the arms of their waiting wives and/or sweethears." (2) World-Wide News Events - Roosevelt Takes Fishing Trip - Charlestown SC: "After a month's hard work charting his proposed recovery program, the President boards the cruiser Philadelphia for a week's vacation in Caribbean waters, this time near the Virgin Islands." (3) Nationalists Reach France - Bosost, Spain: "Insurgent forces drive their way to the French border in the picturesque valley of Aran, 80 miles north of Larida. There they exchange greetings with French gendarmes and stage a victory review." (4) Colonial Festival Colorful - Cannes, France: "Annual flower celebration is featured by picturesque uniforms worn by French Colonial troops, both of the present and of the past. Senegalese and Indo-Chinese do weird native dances that put Harlem to shame." (5) Mussolini Founds New Town - Pontine Marsh, Italy: "Il Duce, once a stone mason, wields a trowel with ease as he lays the cornerstone of the first building in Pomezia. Dictator is in rare good humor as construction on reclaimed marsh land begins." (6) Honeymoon Bridge Tough Job - Niagra Falls NY: "Daring workmen risk their lives to construct the wooden bridges leading into the Cave of the Winds at the base of the Falls. Window washers and steel workers have it easy compared to these chaps." (7) Toronto, Canada: Former American Submarine Now Private Yacht. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-663 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/07/13 - Special Edition (1) New York, NY: Hughes Completes Record Breaking Hop Around World - plane lands, Howard Hughes in white shirt shakes hands. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-684 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/07/18 - World-Wide News Events (1) Hughes Greeting Sets Record - "Spectacular highlights of the record-breaking 'round the world' hop of Howard Hughes, millionaire sportsman pilot. Thrilling scenes show his reception in Paris, his unexpected landing in Minneapolis and his triumphal Broadway greeting." scenes of Hughes and his record flight, with plane at night, taking off (Hughes does not speak) landing at Minneapolis, takes off, in car in New York City for tickertape parade, La Guardia (2) 4 Dead, 42 Hurt, in Oil Fire - Wellsville NY: "A huge oil refinery goes up in smoke as firemen wage a thrilling battle against the stubborn blaze. Exploding naphtha tanks take a growing toll of dead and injured, as damages top $5,000,000." (3) Forest Fires Sweep West - Olympic Peninsula, Washington: "Raging fires, the worst in many years, spread over thousands of acres of rich timber land and force hundreds to flee for their lives. Fire fighters wage a scientific battle against the blazing inferno." (4) Famed Cathedral Rebuilt - Rheims, France: "Brilliant and stirring services, attended by thousands, including President LeBrun and high church dignitaries, mark the rededication of the world-famous church, badly defaced by shellfire during the World War." (5) Pres. Roosevelt Reviews Mighty Armada At Anchor - San Francisco CA: "Under the towering height of the Golden Gate Bridge, Uncle Sam's impressive naval armada, riding at anchor in spectacular alignment, is inspected by the President from the bridge of the USS Houston." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-685 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/09/14 - Welcomes Home Doug Corrigan (1) Los Angeles CA: City welcomes the 31-year old airplane mechanic who crossed the Atlantic to Ireland in a $900, 9-year old Curtiss Robin. (2) World-Wide News Events - Prague, Czechoslovakia: "Troops, tanks, and other engines of war are rushed to the German border as peace hangs in the balance. Washington, DC: Dr. Karel Brejska, Czech Charge d'Affaires, states that his country is determined to defend its territory against invasion. Port Arthur, Texas: 50,000 persons attend the dedication of the $3,000,000 1.5-mile bridge, towering 179 feet above the Neches River. Governor Allred and Miss Mary Mills, who cuts the ribbon share the spotlight during the colorful celebration. Havre De Grace MD: Sen. Millard E. Tydings, conservative Democrat and opponent of the Supreme Court Bill, who was opposed for renomination by Rep. David Lewis, choice of Pres. Roosevelt, registers a decisive victory. Sparta GA: 3-Cornered primary Battle - Lawrence Camp, backed by the White House, attempts a last-minute conversion of voters to his side. Forsyth GA: Former Gov. Eugene Talmadge, ignored by FDR, fights to prove he's a man to watch. Elberton GA: Sen. Walter F. George, 'purge' target of pres. Roosevelt, wages a strong fight to win renomination." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-702 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/09/19 - Mexican Independence Day (1) Mexico City: "500,000 Mexicans, including Pres. Cardenas, witness a huge military parade commemorating the Hidalgo revolution of 128 years ago. A military spirit prevails as colorful army and navy detachments add lustre to the historic day." (2) Celilo Falls, Oregon: "While 'Paleface' fishermen strike for better pay, America's first citizens reap a golden harvest, 60 tons a day of meaty salmon. With ancient nets, the Redskin anglers provide a thrilling spectacle of olden times." (3) Remarkable Replica Shown - Los Angles CA: "A working miniature of the projected Mt. Palomar observatory, with tiny motors and delicately timed machinery, shows how the great astronomical laboratory will look and operate when completed." (4) Local: Hollywood Blvd in New York City (5) Local: Toronto, Canada, mechanized units in parade 2 miles long. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-703 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/09/26 - World Leaders Strive To Avert World War (1) "Czechoslovakia: Sudeten-German areas, focal point of the present crisis, see the with excitement as martial law is declared by the Czech government. London, England: Lord Runciman, mediator who attempted to solve the Czech-Sudeten impasse, returns empty-handed to a worried England. Germany: Prime Minister Chamberlain flies to discuss peace terms with Chancellor Hitler, whose only answer is a stiffening of annexation demands. Huge crowds greet the Briton when he returns home. Prague, Czech.: In the face of possible air raids from Germany, a bomb-proof shelter is constructed at the American embassy, located in the heart of the city. New York NY: Arriving on the SS Batory, former Sen. Vojta Benes, brother of the Czech president, says his country will fight to the last man!" (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-705 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/09/28 - Europe Talks Peace But Gets Ready For War (1) "Germany: While the world anxiously awaits the outcome of the peace conference at Munich between the four European powers, refugees flee across the strife-torn Sudeten border into the Reich. England: Although hopeful that Chamberlain's efforts will prevail, Londoners pray for peace while intensive preparations are made against air attacks. Washington DC: Pres. Roosevelt, whose cable to Europe helped bring about further negotiations, summons his cabinet to discuss the present crisis. New York NY: In sudden moves that foreshadow possible conflict, German ships are recalled to their home ports without passengers." (2) Americanism Only 'ism' in U.S. Movies Says H. M. Warner - Hollywood CA: "Maj. Harry M. Warner, motion picture leader, speaking at the American Legion Convention, states that the U. S. film business is keeping faith with American ideals and challenges critics to prove any taint of 'isms'." (3) World-Wide News Events - New York NY: "Declaring a public emergency in the strike of 15,000 truck drivers, which has hampered shipping, Mayor La Guardia turns out hundreds of old Sanitation Dept. vehicles at the City Hall and begins, with union men, to move needed supplies. (4) 70 Die in Freak Air Crash - Haneda, Japan: "Japan's worst aerial tragedy! Seventy persons, including the crews of two planes that collided in mid-air, are killed or burned when the craft falls on a factory, bursting into flames and scattering flaming gasoline over a large area." (5) Science - Midget Cows Amaze Experts (Exclusive) - Stillwater, Oklahoma: "It's not the size that counts on Otto Gray's farm. His tiny bovine cud-chewers are the talk of the countryside, not only for their bulls (they're no taller than the average dog)." (6) New Windshields Aid Vision (Exclusive) - Detroit, Michigan: "Approved by state traffic authorities as a boon to safe driving, a new 'front window' of greater size for 1939 cars eliminates blind spots and increases visibility. Test runs prove it's a lifesaving innovation!" (7) Colorful State Fair Held (Exclusive) - Puyallup, Washington: "It's the Coast state's biggest annual event, and with Graham McNamee, noted screen and radio commentator, officiating, it's a thriller for thousands. A day of entertainment that includes pretty girls, prize cattle, and of course, the Midway!" (8) Sports - Snead Wins Golf Prize - White Plains NY: "Followed by a gallery of 5,000 fans, the young West Virginian makes a sensational rush in the last two rounds and slams his way to another triumph, coming in one under par to beat Bill Burke and clinch the $5,000 stake." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-706 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/10/03 - (1) War Scare Dies As 4-Power Plan Assures Peace - "England: A new world war is averted by the 4-power conference as anxious London watches intensive preparations against air raids. France: Reservists, called for military duty at the zero hour, entrain for what is to prove a round trip to the frontier. Germany: Sudeten refugees pour into the Reich up to the last, as Free Corps troops armed with German guns, guard the border. England: Prime Minister Chamberlain, fresh from his 'talk' with the German leader, returns by plane to Heston airport. Czechoslovakia: Soldiers and engines of war, recalled at the 11th hour, quit the Sudeten areas in a forced withdrawal." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-707 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/10/31 - (1) Pres. Roosevelt Inspects Air Defenses - Washington DC: "In the midst of plans for expanding Uncle Sam's airplane armada, Pres. Roosevelt inspects huge bombers and fleet pursuit ships at Bolling Field, and later looks over Navy craft at the Anacostia naval base." (2) New Boating Fashions Shown - Balboa CA: "The latest styles for Milady's salt-water wardrobe are swanky and quite up-to-date. Comely models display sea-going slacks, shorts and play-clothes of tropical fabrics in a colorful Wintercruise prevue." (3) Auto Plant Heralds Boom Era - Dearborn, Michigan: "Evidence of returning prosperity for the nation is seen as the new Fords come off the assembly line for inspection. New factory buildings, representing an expenditure of $34,000,000, point the way towards industrial better times." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-715 National Archives, College Park MD

1938/11/09 - (1) New Deal Shaken As Opponents Win In Many Key States - "New York: Pres. Roosevelt witnesses a surprising trend against the New Deal as the country registers strong Republican gains in many States and in many Congressional seats. But in New York City, Democratic National Chairman Farley sees Gov. Herbert H. Lehman nose out 'Racket Buster' Thomas Dewey by only 68,000 votes. Sen. Robert Wagner, sponsor of the Labor Act, is retained in office by a large majority. Likewise, James H. Fay, opponent of Rep. O'Connor in the 'purge' campaign, is elected. Pennsylvania: A stunning defeat to the New Deal! Governor Earle, Senate candidate, is beaten as his state goes Republican. Maryland: Sen. Millard Tydings, 'purge' target who beat the New Deal, is a big winner. Georgia: Sen. Walter George, marked for defeat in the primaries, also sweeps his state. Kentucky: Sen. Allen Barkley, Democratic leader is returned to office. Illinois: Scott Lucas, Democrat, is elected to te Senate. Michigan: Gov. Frank Murphy, New Deal and Labor ally, goes down to a 'surprise' defeat. California: Sheridan Downey, advocate of the 'Ham & Eggs' pension plan, is elected but the state turns down his plan." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 10-718 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/05/15 - World-Wide News Events [poor quality] (1) 8 Die In Grain Elevator Fire - Chicago IL: "16 firemen are injured fighting a stubborn $4,000,000 blaze in the Calumet elevators, in which 8 workers perish. Spectacular scenes as 630 firemen battle the roaring inferno for hours! (2) French Revolution Celebrated (some sound) - Versailles, France: "In the very palace room where Louis XVI assembled the famous States-General on the eve of the French Revolution 150 years ago, Pres. LeBrun and other officials commemorate the beginning of cemocratic government in France." (3) De Valera Aide Arrives in U.S. (Exclusive) - New York NY: "Sean T. O'Kelly, vice-president of the Irish Executive Council, Premier De Valera's right-hand man, arrives to open the Irish Pavilion at the World's Fair. Ireland will be neutral in case of a European war, he prophecies." (4) Colorful Religious Rites Held - Algiers, Algeria: "500,000 persons, including natives in colorful robes, take part in the Eucharistic Congress at the quaint North African seaport. Archbishop Verdier of Paris presides as 12,000 children receive holy mass." (5) Prince Back Home With Bride - Teheran, Iran: "Crown Prince Mohammed Riza Pahlevi, heir to the Persian throne, arrives with his pretty Egyptian bride, Princess Fawzia. Colorful ceremonies and a thrilling army review are staged for the young couple." (6) City Goes Dutch For Gala Fete - Holland, Michigan: "Quaint ceremonies and a parade in real Dutch style help celebrate the huge tulip crop. While the streets are scrubbed for dancing, cute kiddies in colorful costumes play amongst the blossoming flowers." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-771 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/05/17 - Royal Welcome to King and Queen (1) Quebec: "Impressive scenes as King George and Queen Elizabeth begin their royal tour of Canada and the U. S. Thousands of loyal subjects jam the streets as the sovereigns leave ship for a triumphal cavalcade across the Plains of Abraham to striking ceremonies in Parliament." (2) Troops On Guard At Coal Pits - Harlan KY: "'Bloody Harlan County' seethes with unrest as Nat'l Guardsmen arrive with orders to 'shoot to kill' to protect miners going back to work despite Union agitation. Tense scenes as armed soldiers escort workers through picket lines." (3) Gov't Fights Cricket Plague (Exclusive) - Pasco, Washington: "Federal experts wage war on the horde of Mormon crickets devastating crops in the Northwest. Squads of men armed with poison spray guns move through the fields wiping out the pests by the millions." (4) Giant Log Drive Under Way - Bend, Oregon: "One of the biggest log 'drives' in Northwest history, 21,000,000 feet of pine, starts down the Deschutes River. Thrilling scenes as loggers defy death to keep the timber moving through dangerous cataracts." (5) Roads of Tomorrow On Display - New York NY: "A graphic and amazing view of the 'Highways and Horizons' of the future is seen at the General Motors World's Fair pavilion, where a diorama of future express roads and cities is revealed for visitors." (6) Sports (some sound) - Hampshire, England: "Dare-devil Signal Corps motorcycle champs warm up with thrilling acrobatics for the annual Tidworth Tattoo! Action and lurking death as the stunters maneuver and jump over obstacles at terrific speeds." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-772 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/05/22 - World-Wide News (1) Havana, Cuba - Turin, Italy: Mussolini before crowd - Liverpool, England (2) Big News In Aviation - "Port Washington, NY: The giant 4-motored Pan-American Clipper takes off with 1600 pounds of mail for Europe following inaugural ceremonies ashore. America's bid for trans-Atlantic air supremacy!" - La Guardia speaks briefly, seaplane departs. "Seattle, Wash.: The first new 33-passenger super-plane for sub-stratosphere flights since an earlier one crashed, killing ten persons, is warmed up at the Boeing plant and takes off in a thrilling try-out hop." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-773 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/05/24 - Special Release (1) "Portsmouth, NH: Dramatic scenes as rescue workers, from a navy tugboat, use a special diving chamber to bring up 33 survivors of the ill-fated undersea craft, 'Squalus,' which sank with 59 aboard during test maneuvers!" - submarine tragedy (2) FDR Tells Retail Men Not To Worry About Nat'l Debt - Washington DC; (3) New York (4) World-Wide News - Portsmouth: Washington DC: New York NY: (5) Paris, France: Bourguenais, France: "With European peace still in the balance, output of fighting planes is pushed at capacity speed. Air Minister Chambre visits a top-notch factory and later sees thrilling stunt flying!" (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-775 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/05/31 - Memorial Day (1) celebrations (2) World-Wide News Events - Calgary: Le Havre: Salada Beach: Sacramento: New York: Annapolis (3) Indianapolis: 500-mile car race (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-776 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/06/05 - (1) graduating midshipmen throw hats (2) Havana, Cuba (3) Rome, Italy (4) Edmondton, Canada (5) Lourdes, France (6) Grand Coulee Dam (7) Barberton (8) airplane (9) Birmingham (10) Keller (11) New York, NY: (12) Westbury: polo (13) Local: King and Queen (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-777 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/06/07 - (1) Will Rogers Statue Unveiled (2) New York NY: (3) Hollywood (4) planes (5) "Washington, DC: Spectacular scenes mark the arrival of the first reigning British monarchs ever to visit the U. S.! King George and Queen Elizabeth receive a triumphant welcome from President and Mrs. Roosevelt, and thousands of Americans, during an impressive military parade. A colorful garden party climaxes the epochal day!" (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-778 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/06/12 - King and Queen Visit Mount Vernon (1) King and Queen with FDR, ride in car, pose standing, at Tomb of Unknown Solder, lay wreath (2) Liverpool Bay, England: ships (3) Mexico City (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-779 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/08/27 - (1) War Moves (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-801 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/08/30 - (1) Americans Rush Home From War Scarred Europe (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-802 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/09/13 - F.D.R. Calls Special Session (1) "Washington, DC: In a move of far-reaching importance to the U. S., President Roosevelt summons Congress for a special session, at which, it is believed, stringent phases of the arms embargo may be repealed. Meanwhile, Senators Nye and Thomas argue the 'pros' and 'cons' of the embargo, and get Gen. Hugh Johnson warns the nation to stay out of Europe. New York, NY: Answering the President's call for more naval reserves, recruiting goes on at a brisk pace! Hundreds of patriotic Red Cross workers make bandages to help sufferers in war-torn Europe." - Senator Nye speaks (no sound) "Woodside, NY: Units of the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized), 110 speedy combat cars and 48 half-track vehicles, leave for their Ft. Knox base aboard 77 flat cars. The speedy 'Iron Horses' require only 17 minutes for the task!" (2) Athenia survivors (3) Protsmouth, NH: Squalus submarine finally raised to surface and towed ashore. (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-806 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/09/18 - 'Red' Army Invades Poland (1) "Russia, in a surprise coup, throws the full weight of her military might against helpless Poland. it is expected the Soviet will annex one-third of the ill-fated nation. England: 'Business as usual' is the traditional word, as Britain waits for enemy bombing planes! Londoners carry gas masks through the streets! King George and Queen Elizabeth visit air raid shelters and are cheered by anxious crowds. Life as usual! A wedding takes place in the shelter of air-raid sand-bags! Movie theatres re-open! The Duke & Duchess of Windsor return home! In the country, girls take the part of men in harvesting the crops, the 'fourth line of defense'." (2) 25 Dead Taken From Squalus - Portsmouth NH: "113 days after foundering, the ill-fated submarine is hauled into dry dock. Bodies of those trapped in the disaster are removed from the water-filled hull, as Navy officials plan to refit the boat for service." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-807 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/09/20 - (1) "Hamilton, Ontario: Canada pays impressive tribute to Margaret Haylworth, 10-year-old girl, fatally hurt when the SS Athenia was torpedoed by a Nazi submarine. Government officials, and thousands, attend her touching funeral." (no sound) (2) "Glasgow, Scotland: Hundreds of survivors, including many injured and tiny children, land after being rescued. Pitiful pawns in the new game of war." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-808 National Archives, College Park MD

1939/10/11 - On The War Front (1) "In the Atlantic: The SS Iroquois, which the German Admiralty claimed to be sunk by a submarine on her voyage home from England, arrives safely with its destroyer escort. The Universal cameraman flies out to sea to get first pictures of the liner." (partial silent newsreel) SOURCE: 200 Universal 11-814 National Archives, College Park MD


This DVD45 includes 2 hours of Universal Newsreels reproduced from reference cassettes at the National Archives, College Park MD, and is available from the University of San Diego Bookstore.
revised 7/26/07 by Steven Schoenherr | Universal Newsreels on DVD