Search New Deal Films

Dawn Strikes the Capitol Dome

(9:46) b/w, silent
An impressionistic study of Washington, D.C., on a typical depression day. Includes shots of the Capitol Building, National Archives, Union Station, Arlington Cemetery, statues, British Embassy, Supreme Court, Lincoln Memorial, White House, downtown streets, and typical groups of people (shoppers, government employees, picnickers, tramps, etc.).

Shock Troops of Disaster

(11:26) b/w, silent
On WPA relief operations in New England. Reel 1, hurricane and tidal waves hit the Long Island coast in Dec. 1938. The hurricane and flood waters rage across New England. Derailed trains, felled trees, damaged homes, flooded streets, and other evidences of the catastrophe are shown. Coast Guard crews rescue stranded citizens. WPA and CCC units erect sandbag levees. Reel 2, WPA director Harry Hopkins arrives at Providence, R.I., to survey ...

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Recovery in New Jersey

(19:23) b/w silent
On WPA projects in New Jersey. Reel 1, the Dana mansion in the Palisades Interstate Park is dismantled. In Roosevelt Park, ditches are dug and pipe laid for a water system and a hospital is under construction. Reel 2, women stitch garments at a sewing center. A road is dynamited and rock removed in the Palisades Park. The Ringling mansion is dismantled. Water pipe is laid in Greenbrook Park. A concrete culvert is erected at Englewood.

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Recovery in Michigan

(1:02:43) b/w silent
On WPA projects in Michigan. Reel 1, timber is cut and a tourist cabin floor laid near Calumet. Reel 2, Red Cross women in Detroit wrap bandages. Track for the Detroit Street Railway is installed. A storm sewer is constructed in Bay City. Shows a municipal garage at Grand Rapids under construction. Reel 3, CCC units repair a fish hatchery at Grayling (pond beds are dug, concrete sides constructed, and fish transferred). A Detroit street is w...

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Matanuska Alaska

(1:16:39) b/w, silent
On the town of Matanuska. Reel 1, a train arrives and passengers detrain. Reel 2 shows a house under construction, a farmer plowing, and views of cafes, a store, and the post office. Reel 3 shows views of the post office and a grocery store. Reel 4 shows the Matanuska Valley Pioneer office. Twin babies are weighed and measured in a hospital. Reel 5, people dance at a community hall. The volunteer fire department fights a fire. Reel 6, horses an...

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The Technique of Fresco Painting

(24:58) b/w, silent
In this film, students at Evander Childs High School, New York City, help artist James Michael Newell paint a mural depicting the history of western civilization. On reel 1, the materials (slaked lime, marble dust, and pigments) are prepared, and preliminary and full-size drawings and perforated tracings are made. Then the design is pounded through the perforations onto a recently plastered wall. On reel 2, the design lines are in...

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California Recreation

(11:23) b/w, silent
On WPA-sponsored recreation projects in California. Shows bike polo in Monterey, bee keeping in Paso Robles, trout fly making in San Luis Obispo, pottery shaping in Morro Bay, children with model airplanes in San Francisco, swimming in San Diego, archery classes in Redding, girls’ calisthenics in Sacramento, puppet show in Stockton, rope trick exhibition in Modesto, lawn bowling in Oakland, bicycle races in a San Jose velodrome, and a ...

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Federal Theater at the World’s Fair

(20:29) b/w, silent
On preparations for and activities at the Golden Gate International Exposition. Reel 1, exhibition buildings are constructed on Treasure Island, Calif., in 1936. Shows views of San Francisco and scenes aboard the ferry to Treasure Island. Seats and electric equipment are installed in the Federal Theatre building on Treasure Island. Shows wardrobe design and fitting and rehearsal scenes. Reel 2, the FTP presents a puppet show, &#...

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Danger on the Streets

(8:01) b/w, silent
Demonstrates lack of caution by pedestrians which results in traffic fatalities: crossing in the center of the block, from between parked cars, while reading newspapers, etc.; hitchhiking in the street; and children chasing balls, etc. into roadways. Shows many scenes of traffic conditions in Los Angeles, California.

CCC at La Purissima

(7:32) b/w, silent
An old Spanish mission in the La Purisima State Park, California, is rebuilt by CCC units. Dust and dirt is shoveled from the mission ruins. Walls are reconstructed from adobe brick. Tile is made from clay found in the area and used for the roofing. The grounds are landscaped.

New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.

New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.