Pearl Harbor film

This Castle Film was shot after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It begins with a helpful map of the harbor’s location and shows the devastation on the seaplane base, destroyer USS Shaw, battleship USS Utah and the USS Arizona.

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Film Collection, 1940s:  Historic Film Collection, Part 3

WWII Eastern Front newsreel, 1941

This 1941 newsreel has 3 segments: “Nazis war on Russia, Soviet ambassador speaks, and US stars back war loans”.

The 4 minute format allows for a quick view on any given day during a unit on WWII. The footage gives the viewer a sense of battle conditions and even shows parachuters jumping off of plane wings.

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1940s Historic Film Collection

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JFK’s inauguration

Historic films clips, when used properly, can help students better grasp important moments.

Given the technology that exists today, namely PowerPoint and Keynote, it is possible now to embed these films within presentations and spark an interest in students that otherwise might be passive viewers.

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1942 Raid over Tokyo

This Castle Films newsreel shows troops readying for an air raid over Tokyo. Pilots and planes are shown on board and taking off from the carrier, bombing targets. It’s the first time Tokyo is bombed. Later, Doolittle receives the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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Final Days of Okinawa July 1945

This short newsreel contains fantastic footage from WWII.

Note: the second clip, which gets cut off, contains racist language towards the Japanese.

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Historic Film Collection, Part 3

WWII Propaganda film: build aircrafts, 1944

This series of 7 shorts from 1944 was made by the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical company who built aircrafts during WWII, including the B-29.

It would spark a great conversation in class to ask students if they have seen any commercials in recent years to recruit workers for the war efforts abroad. Comparisons could be made, and students could even design their own commercials for companies that make products sent to conflicts around the world.

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Causes of WWII Parts 1, 2, 3

US homefront WWII film: Three Cities, 1941

This US Office of War Information shows how citizens on the homefront helped prepare the nation for the war effort.

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Causes of WWII Parts 1, 2, 3

Star Spangled Banner

In honor of Memorial Day, here is a 1942 performance by Fred Waring and his orchestra of the Star Spangled Banner.

Opening of the Golden Gate bridge, 1936

This historical footage shot from an airplane, shows the airplanes, ships, cars, bikes, and pedestrians that came out to celebrate the opening of the Gold Gate bridge.

Interestingly the bridge was built by 10 different contractors; for more information about the bridge check out this website:

It is really neat to see an important event from the 1930s!

For more on this era check out our 1930s and Europe Between the Wars PowerPoints.

Attack on Pearl Harbor

These two films show footage from the attack to convince viewers to support the war effort.

Note: the term “Jap” is used throughout.