This episode of the “Yesterday’s Newsreel” television show (episode 96) offers the viewer “television highlights of the news of yesteryear” by providing vintage clips of famous people and events from the first half of the 20th century. The newsreel begins with “1920-1923: Warren Harding” (00:30), recapping Senator Warren G. Harding’s road to the White House. Harding and his wife enjoy life in 1920 prior to the Republican Convention at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago (00:57) where Harding is picked as a compromise candidate. Will H. Hays (01:11) oversees Harding’s successful campaign, and Harding heads to Capitol Hill in March 1921 (01:51). His cabinet includes Secretary of State Charles Evan Hughes, Post Master Will H. Hays, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace, Secretary of Navy Edwin Denby, and Secretary of War John W. Weeks. As the 28th President, Harding attends church with his wife at Calvary Baptist Church. Later, he greets sick or injured citizens (02:47). The segment wraps up with a visit with General Pershing at the War Army College (03:13), followed by a brief vacation that precedes Harding’s death. America mourns the late President Warren G. Harding (04:02). The next segment, “1922: Beaux Arts Ball” (04:17), shows women preparing for an annual costume ball, to be held on 16 February 1922. Dorothy Park Benjamin—wife of Enrico Caruso—and a fellow socialite work on decorations for the ball. In “1919: Charles Ponzi” (05:12), viewers see Ponzi at his Boston mansion with his mother and wife. Ponzi showcases his “business acumen” in a theatrical performance for a delighted audience, but the government soon reveals that he is nothing more than a mere swindler. The Ponzi Scheme is named in his honor. “1931: Personalities” (06:02) features Tomas Masaryk (06:12), just before his resignation as President of Czechoslovakia, and Edvard Benes, who would take his place in 1935; Mayor James M. Curley (06:31), mayor of Boston, enjoying time with his family; and British director and composer Albert Coates (06:56), director of the New York Symphony Orchestra (likely the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra). The next segment shows the catastrophic damage caused by flooding in San Antonio (07:13) in 1921 from torrential rains. “1926: ‘Mask and Wig’ Production” (08:04) shows behind-the-scenes footage of the 1926 all-male cast of the University of Pennsylvania’s annual Mask and Wig production. In “1922: Aviation” (09:05), viewers see the failed takeoff attempt of Victor Lore Weber’s flying contraption. “1920: Fashions of the Day” (09:41) features “Suzie by the Sea” modeling the latest swimwear as well as the women who enforce dress codes on Atlantic City Beach (10:33). The newsreel’s final segment is “1919: Sports” (11:00), which shows athletic events in Paris in 1919 including pole vault and a basketball game between French and American troops. The newsreel concludes with the 1919 Winner’s Cup competition at Triangular (11:37) between Washington, California, and Stanford, with Washington winning the race.
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