Download A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of by Ted Gup PDF

By Ted Gup

An inspiring account of the USA at its worst-and american citizens at their best-woven from the tales of melancholy period households who have been helped through presents from the author's beneficiant and secretive grandfather.

Shortly prior to Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper advert provided $10, no strings hooked up, to seventy five households in misery. readers have been requested to post letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author's grandfather Sam Stone used to be encouraged to put this advert and help his fellow Cantonians as they ready for the most harsh Christmas so much of them might ever witness.

Moved via the stories of affliction and expressions of wish inside the letters, which he came upon in a suitcase seventy five years later, Ted Gup first and foremost got down to unveil the lives at the back of them, trying to find files and family members in all places the rustic who may possibly aid him flesh out the kinfolk sagas hinted at in these letters. From those resources, Gup has re-created the impression that Mr B. Virdot's present had on every one family members. many folks yearned for bread, coal, or different must haves, yet many others bought funds from B. Virdot for extra fanciful goods - a toy horse, say, or a suite of encyclopaedias. As Gup's investigations printed, some of these issues had the ability to show people's lives round - even to avoid wasting them.

But as he exposed the pain and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup additionally discovered that Sam Stone was once way more advanced than the cute- retiree character he'd continually proven his grandson. Gup reveals deeply buried information about Sam's existence - from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to conceal his immigrant origins from U.S. officers - that aid clarify why he felt this sort of powerful affinity to strangers in desire. Drawing on his designated locate and his award-winning reportorial presents, Ted Gup solves a unique relations secret even whereas he pulls away the veil of 8 many years that separate us from the hardships that united the USA throughout the melancholy. In A mystery present, he weaves those revelations seamlessly right into a tapestry of melancholy period the United States, so as to fascinate and encourage in equivalent degree.

Show description

Read Online or Download A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression PDF

Best american history books

Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express

“WANTED. younger, thin, WIRY FELLOWS. now not OVER 18. needs to be professional RIDERS. prepared TO probability demise day-by-day. ORPHANS most well liked. ”
—California newspaper help-wanted advert, 1860

The Pony convey is among the so much celebrated and enduring chapters within the background of the us, a narrative of the all-American qualities of bravery, bravado, and entrepreneurial chance which are a part of the very textile of the outdated West. No photograph of the yankee West within the mid-1800s is extra time-honored, extra cherished, and extra robust than that of the lone rider galloping the mail throughout adversarial Indian territory. No photo is extra respected. And none is much less understood. Orphans most well-liked is either a revisionist background of this incredible and ill-fated experience and an enjoyable examine the usually larger-than-life people who created and perpetuated the parable of “the Pony,” because it is understood alongside the horse show path that runs from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. the horse show is a narrative that exists within the annals of Americana the place truth and delusion collide, a narrative as heroic because the trip of Lewis and Clark, as complicated and revealing because the legacy of Custer’s final Stand, and as muddled and freighted with yarns as Paul Revere’s dead night trip. Orphans most well-liked is a clean and exuberant reexamination of this nice American story.

Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

During this vibrant and compelling narrative, the Seven Years' War–long noticeable as an insignificant backdrop to the yankee Revolution–takes on an entire new importance. referring to the historical past of the warfare because it constructed, Anderson exhibits how the complicated array of forces introduced into clash helped either to create Britain’s empire and to sow the seeds of its eventual dissolution.

Fontana (Images of America)

The self-proclaimed "City of Innovation" has an exceptional culture of reinventing itself. Today's Fontana used to be referred to as "Rancho de San Bernardino. " the 1st recorded proprietor, Don Antonia Maria Lugo, handed the land right down to his sons, and in 1851, the Lugo brothers bought their stake to Mormon settlers, who quickly relocated to Utah.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

Most folk comprehend that Benedict Arnold was once America's first, such a lot infamous traitor. Few comprehend that he used to be additionally considered one of its maximum warfare heroes. This available biography introduces younger readers to the true Arnold: reckless, heroic, and pushed. choked with first-person debts, stunning conflict scenes, and wonderful twists, this can be a gripping and precise experience story.

Extra resources for A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

Sample text

This was a name which was soon to be appropriate to almost any stream in central Kentucky. The first 24 BOURBON'S COUNTRY COUSIN 25 counties which were laid out filled up rapidly after the collapse of the Whiskey Rebellion. But even before that, the whiskey of the West was making a name for itself. As early as 1789, the year the Constitution was adopted, George Thatcher, Harvard 1776, eminent jurist and representative from Massachusetts in the first six Congresses, in praising the merits of New England rum, took an ungracious dig at what he termed "some newfangled distillates produced in other states .

Even a tomahawk could scarify the rich soil sufficiently. By July they had roastin' ears, or could harvest matured corn in October with an assured yield of three to four times that of wheat. " Perhaps the first account of corn growing in what is now Kentucky appears in the series of reports on America known by the short title of Jesuit Relations. The author, presumably the Jesuit Hierosme Lalemant, had no personal knowledge of Kentucky. He wrote down what the Indians told him. " This is tall talk, but it scarcely exceeds the enthusiasm of later generations of Kentuckians, grateful for the largesse of Zea mays.

If there was such a girl, he soon forgot her. Yet where there is an army in being there are bound to be unpleasant occurrences. Men were lashed. Quartermasters stole government property. A soldier was ordered to put a ScotchIrish rebel under guard. In execution of the order, he ran said insurgent through with his bayonet, of which the prisoner died. At Carlisle a dragoon's pistol went off and hit a countryman in the groin; he too died. On November 13, long remembered in many a cabin and stump-clearing as "the dismal night," the Jersey horse captured various citizens whom they described grimly as "the whiskey pole gentry," dragging them out of bed, tying them back to back.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.76 of 5 – based on 37 votes