This film is part of Free

Youth in Camps

March of Time reports on the beginnings of the summer camp movement in the USA, goes behind the scenes at Oxford University and tracks Madrid under attack during the Spanish Civil War.

Anthology 1937 18 mins


Children’s summer camps seem archetypally American: this piece from March of Time reminds us that the movement’s beginnings were a bold social experiment. In the second item of the newsreel, Oxford University gets funding to extend the Bodleian Library and, finally, a strongly anti-fascist view of the Spanish Civil War: as Franco’s army marches on Madrid, Germany and Italy circle the arena of war, threatening the security of Europe.

The Spanish Civil War piece focuses on how the action is being analysed by military strategists at the Army War College in Washington, as a way of testing what future war will be like. The conclusion that wars of “quick annihilation” are unlikely is meant to provide an optimistic counterbalance to Franco’s progress but the scenes of destruction in Madrid tell their own story. Some footage in this piece was probably shot by renowned photojournalist Robert Capa, whose partner Gerda Taro was killed in an accident involving a tank while filming for March of Time in Spain in July 1937