5 World Changing Events that Were Caught on Film
For years, film has been able to bring people from all walks of life up close and personal with coverage of world changing events. Whether it is war, stories of freedom, or brilliant discoveries, film has been able to capture some of the world’s life-changing moments so that they may be remembered for decades to come.
1. Hitler becoming the German Chancellor
On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was named the Chancellor of Germany. From the very start, Hitler came in tumultuous, arguing his way into the title. President Hindenburg was warned by a former General under Hitler, Erich Ludendorff, that this was a mistake. His exact words were, “I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action.” As it turns out, Ludendorff was right on the mark about Hitler. As the dictator of Germany, Hitler would eventually be responsible for a chain of events that led to World War II and also for the deaths of over 50 million people through both the war and the premeditated extermination of Jews. You can view footage of the events during Hitler’s reign here.
2. The attack on Pearl Harbor
On December 7, 1941, two years into World War II, Japanese fighter planes flew into the U.S. military base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and launched an attack. The attack went down in history as one of the deadliest in American History, with over 2,500 people killed and about 1,000 wounded. The bombings destroyed 18 American ships and close to 300 aeroplanes. Some of that days deadly events were caught on colour film by an American serviceman by the name of Clyde Daughtry. The following link includes some of Daughtry’s footage.
3. The moon landing
American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong spent about 2 1/2 hours exploring the surface of the moon and Buzz Aldrin spent a little less. The two of them collected about 22 kg of material from the moon to take back to Earth for experimenting. This began a flurry of visits to the moon by astronauts from around the world. The following film footage was shot on 16 mm film of the first men to walk on the moon.
4. The fall of the Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 to separate West Berlin from entering East Berlin and the surrounding East Germany. The separation was to keep the fascists of West Berlin away and from preventing East Germany to build as a socialist state. In 1989, several political changes began taking place and Germany reunification was allowed. People climbed the walls in celebration of being reunited and chipped away at the wall to have a souvenir of what once was. Large equipment eventually came in and removed the entire wall. The fall of the Berlin Wall was formally over on October 3, 1990. View the footage of this historic event here.
5. 9/11 terrorist attacks
On September 11, 2001, Americans and the rest of the world would be set on high alert after Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked several aeroplanes and flew them into different areas in the United States. Two aeroplanes were flown directly into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, NY, one airplane was flown into the Pentagon, which is a U.S Department of Defense building, and a fourth aeroplane was heading for the White House in Washington, D.C. but crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when passengers tried to defend themselves against the hijackers. Almost 3,000 lives were taken that day. For law enforcement officers and fire-fighters, it was the deadliest day in the history of the U.S.; 72 law enforcement officers and 343 fire-fighters were killed during rescue efforts in New York City. There are several moments of footage of this tragic day caught on film.
Without film transfer many historic moments before the age of digital film would have been lost as the films became brittle and projectors hard to come by. Luckily cine film transfer technology allows us to capture footage from old film reels so that it can be viewed and remembered for generations to come.