The Great Depression Video Collection

Movies and Newsreels

“Brother, Can You Spare a Billion? The Story of Jesse H. Jones”
Videos with historians describing the influence of Jesse H. Jones, who served as chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corp. during the Great Depression.

Getty Images
Also has film available for a fee.

Library of Congress: “Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy:  1921-1929”
A wide variety of sources exploring American prosperity during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge and the transition to a mass-consumer economy.

Universal Newsreels: “Roosevelt Inaugurated”
A newsreel documenting FDR’s inauguration.

Universal Newsreels: “President Speaks to the Nation”
Fireside chat No. 2; video has sound, poor image of FDR.

Universal Newsreels: “President Roosevelt’s Emergency Bank Bill Passed by Congress”
An unfortunately silent film about FDR’s introduction of the bank bill.

Universal Newsreels: “President Visits Foresters”
FDR visits the Civilian Conservation Corps. in 1933.

Universal Newsreels: “President Outlines Recovery Progress”
Fireside chat No. 4; FDR details recovery; video has sound.

Universal Newsreels: “Highlights in the News”
News highlights from 1933; for example, a Kansas City businessman gives away coats to men, who line up around the block.

Universal Newsreels: “City Gold Rush Starts”
An apparent gold rush at a farm outside of Cincinnati gives a view of the Depression.

Universal Newsreels: “Farmers Arm to Break Picket Line”
In November 1933, farmers in Iowa strike over prices.

Universal Newsreels: “General Strike” newsreels 1 and 2
Newsreel footage of the general strike in San Francisco.
(newsreel 1)
(newsreel 2)

Universal Newsreels: “President Reports to Nation”
Fireside chat No. 5; progress made.

Universal Newsreels: “Better Housing News Flashes”
Footage from 1935, focusing on the Federal Housing Administration/National Housing Act.

Universal Newsreels: “FDR Sees Fear Vanishing”
Fireside chat No. 7; FDR tells nation that fear is vanishing.

Universal Newsreels: “FDR Buys First Baby Bond”
FDR buys $25 bond.

Universal Newsreels: “Roosevelt Landslide”
FDR wins in a landslide.

Universal Newsreels: “Work Pays America” newsreels 1 and 2
A film about the Work Pays America (WPA) program.
(newsreel 1)
(newsreel 2)

Universal Newsreels: “Money Stream Flow from Treasury”
Money stream flowing from the Treasury (and through the Federal Reserve System).  Unfortunately, the footage is silent.