The Great Depression: Movies & 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.

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.

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

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