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This black & white film was made by the Illinois Education Association during WWII in 1942 and released in 1943. According to the official description, “Backing up the Guns” shows “the fine work of the schools in training workers for war industries, in turning out citizens who are physically
fit and mentally awake. It shows how the schools stand as the great bulwarks of democracy by passing on to the generations of youths passing through their portals our great heritage of freedom. This is not the usual soft, wishy-washy series of scenes of boys and girls playing at life, but shows that youth and their schools are doing their part. It is a morale builder of the highest

Opening titles: Backing Up The Guns (:08-:32). Natural resources of America: oil, steel, farmlands. Farmers at work. Children leaving school. A student uses draft tools. A girl does a chemistry experiment. Nurses walk. American soldiers. A teacher at her desk (:33-1:53). Doctor checks students in school. A woman takes notes. Teacher gives a letter to a student to take home. Woman practice first aid. Health exams in a public school. Newspaper headlines about epidemics. Students play at recess. Gym teacher blows a whistle. Men practice exercises. Soldiers do exercises (1:54-3:50). A tug of war between soldiers. School playground softball game. Girls play keep away with a ball. Men and boys do exercises. A woman makes food in an oven. Books on nutrition. Scientists at work in a laboratory. Homemaking class in school. Teacher watches (3:51-5:56). Sugar, fats on display. Women make food in class. Sinks in an empty classroom. Hands move index cards. Teacher at her desk. Gym class with students performing various activities at once. Men build a building. Tanks, ships, airplanes in motion (5:57-7:26). Men leave work at a defense plant. School in America. Students in a machine class. Teacher assists in class. Students use machines. Boys in wood class. Agricultural class. Student helps fix a machine. A woman sews (7:27-9:18). Women in the classroom. Students and adults work side by side in class. Men in wood class. Teacher works with male students in machine class (9:19-10:13). A woman walks, stands near the flying U.S. flag. Woman teacher teaches female students. Students stare at the teacher and listen. Washington, D.C. aerial shot (10:14-11:39). Lincoln Memorial and the Mall near the Washington Monument. New York City. American industrial area. People walk the streets of NYC. A man reads a newspaper in his home. People place ballots. Students in class. A man speaks into a microphone. Tanks and soldiers in battle. Students outside school. Index cards being moved by hands. A check for a teacher. Schoolhouse (11:40-13:40).Soldiers march. Men do exercises. Men and women work on machines. Students in class. People of America. Students in school. Tanks, ships, airplanes in motion. Men leave work at a defense plant. Ships at sea. American flag in the breeze (13:41-14:57). End credits (14:58-15:03).

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit


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