Old Movies

Army Convoy, 1919

In 1919 the U.S. Army decided to send a convoy of trucks, motorcycles, tractors, and men on a transcontinental trip from Washington DC to San Francisco. The road they would follow was the recently completed Lincoln Highway. Some of the convoy's journey was filmed, and we look at the section from western Nevada to San Francisco, California. The text comes from a diary and film record made during the trip.

Eisenhower and Army convoy leave Washington DC headed to San Francisco

It was on July 7th, 1919 that The Army's Motor Transport Corps convoy left Washington DC headed towards San Francisco. The trip was to see if the military could move men and machines across the country using the recently "completed" Lincoln Highway as the route. They almost didn't make it, arriving in Oakland seven day's behind schedule.

The convoy included, "24 expeditionary officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers, including a young, Bvt Lt Col Dwight D. Eisenhower of the Tank Corps, and 258 enlisted men." The experience Eisenhower had on the trip helped formulate his plan as President for an Interstate Highway System, still in place today.

The National Archives has a video of some of the trip. It's fascinating to watch, and at the 18:47 mark we start to see the mountains of Nevada and California, and the climb up Meyers Grade, across the summit, and down into Kyburz at the 21:45 mark.

Gold Discovery Centennial Celebration in Coloma, California

Gold Discovery Centennial Celebration in Coloma, California filmed in 16 mm, 1948. Participant filmed vignettes of the 1948 centennial celebration of the discovery of gold. Scenes mostly in Coloma, CA with a couple snippets from Placerville CA. Parade floats, speakers, participants, spectators. Gold panning.

From the California State Archives. https://archive.org/details/caclmmgd_000010