December 19, 2012

Lost and Found Films: ‘Governor’s Day, 1941′

News and Information

The University of Washington prepares for war in “Governor’s Day,” the latest installment of the Lost and Found Films series.

“Governor’s Day,” which dates from 1941, is a silent, 16 mm color film a bit short of four minutes long. It shows cadets in the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps drilling, practicing with and cleaning weapons and loading shells into a 155-mm anti-aircraft gun.

It’s the work of a unit called University Campus Studios and may have been a promotional film for that studio.

Lost and Found Films is an occasional UW Today series in which readers help identify and explain historic bits of film from the 1930s through the 1970s unearthed from the UW Audio Visual Materials Library by film archivist Hannah Palin. The films range from shadowy black and white snippets to thoughtfully produced color productions.

The film begins with a title card announcing an “exhibition drill” at 11 a.m. and the Governor’s Review at 4 p.m.  It shows cadets deftly assembling and loading an anti-aircraft gun (and talking on the field “gun telephone”), two men discussing a blackboard’s “meteorological message” and then working on a chart. We then see cadets practicing on a green, a soldier cleaning his rifle and footage of a military parade that must have been part of the Governor’s Day celebration.

Palin is curious where the ROTC training was taking place, and about the history of Governor’s Day.

Attention: If you can enlighten her about this campus wartime montage, add your comments below. At ease. Dismissed.