Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story Characters

Paul Harvey
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John Pemberton was not a doctor at all. However, he was a corner druggist and back in the post-Civil War era, druggists were respected and relied upon as much as a doctor.

Pemberton was somewhat of an entrepreneur, developing various potions to sell to the general public. He had products such as Dr. Pemberton's Globe of Flower Cough Syrup and Dr. Pemberton's Indian Queen Hair Dye. The entrepreneur in Pemberton knew that the public would not likely buy an elixir called "Mr. Pemberton's Cough Syrup." At this time in America, it was not illegal to make the claim.

It was Pemberton's headache cure that brought him fame and fortune...eventually. It was a headache cure. Pemberton's focus was omitting alcohol from his new syrup. Any alcohol in the concoction would have damaged the medicine's chance of becoming a household headache and hangover cure. For the stimulant, he chose caffeine. For an analgesic, he chose cocaine.

The cocaine has since been removed from the drink we now know as Coca-Cola. The rest of the ingredients have stayed the same over the years. Pemberton died shortly after his discovery, never fully knowing his contribution to society. He built a little business around it before his death, but never saw the worldwide popularity his accidental invention would draw.

George Crum was an Indian chief who was the chef at a Sarasota, New York, resort called Moon Lake Lodge.

As a chef, Crum learned how to prepare many international dishes. In the 1850s, however, without fast media like television and Internet, it was impossible for Crum to stay on top of all the latest delicacies.

His attempt to create French fries for one of the elite visitors at the Lodge resulted in the creation of the potato chip.

Crum was a patient man. He tried to get the French fries to the customer's liking several times. Finally, when Crum had enough of the customer's complaints, the reader sees the sarcastic side of the Indian chef as well.

Crum sliced paper thin pieces of potatoes, fried them too long and intentionally over salted them. He stormed out of the kitchen to deliver them himself, even though the wait staff tried to stop him. It is obvious that Crum wanted to show the customer just exactly what a bad dish tasted like and wanted to see his reaction for himself when he delivered it. The revenge backfired on Crum, however, because the customer liked the dish.

The potato chip stayed on the menu at the Moon Lake Lodge from that moment on in 1853. When the recipe was printed in the White House cookbook in 1887, it drew more attention. Peeling and slicing automation that was invented in the 1920s made potato chips more widely available.

Heinz was Henry Kissinger's childhood name. He chose to Americanize it when his family moved here to escape Hitler's attack on Jews.

Heinz was born in 1921 and at age 11 was experiencing Hitler's hatred for the Jews firsthand. The little village that was home to the Kissinger family was called Furth. There, any Jew was a target. Hitler's Youth began roaming the streets, making danger a certainty rather than possible.

Heinz's parents believed the principles of their religion were more important than ever. They taught their children self-control that would help them endure the dangerous atmosphere brewing.

Heinz did as his parents taught him. He avoided conflict with Hitler's bullies whenever he could. When he could not avoid it, he took the beating they gave him. One day, instead of just taking it, Heinz talked his way out of it. As an adult, Kissinger admits that he has no recollection of what he said that day.

The 11-year-old boy negotiated peace for himself that day. As an American, he served his new country well with the same skill and devoted his life's work to being a peace negotiator.

Sam Houston is one of the most admired men of Texas. Houston was not Texas-born. He was actually born in Virginia. Texas history claimed him as a hero, though, because if not for Sam Houston, the state now known as Texas would have been Mexican.

One of Houston's greatest battles won was against Mexican General Santa Anna. Houston knew he was up against the "Napoleon of the West." As commander of the Texas army, Houston faced the task of meeting Mexican forces at San Jacinto to battle for the territory.

Houston does not seem like a renegade army man who acted on impulse. In this particular case, he called a meeting of advisers to ask what he should do. He wanted advice as to whether he should attack first or wait to be attacked at San Jacinto. Everyone had a theory, but the debate did not give Houston the answer he needed. Instead, he dismissed the meeting and gave the order to attack. At the end of the story, the reader learns that Houston picked the attack time of 4 p.m. because he knew Santa Anna's daily ritual of napping at that time. Because of his observation, Texas defeated an army more than twice its size and kept the territory for the United States.

Houston knew he caught the Mexican army unprepared and without leadership. He confidently waded his army right through the middle of the Mexican army and pushed them back quickly.

As a child, Adlai Stevenson was a typical boy. At age 12, stuck at his sister's party full of teenagers, Adlai was glad to find a boy who wanted to talk about army drills.

Witness accounts vary. Did the child accidentally shoot his sister's friend while trying to imitate the army drill or while putting the gun away? Or, was it as one witness said—that the boy pointed the gun at the girl and shot? Whatever the reason, Adlai's life seemed to take a curious path.

In the weeks that followed the accident, Adlai acted as though it had not happened. He did not show any remorse and did not even acknowledge the accident had occurred.

As he grew up, Adlai experienced many feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem despite the many honors he won. Adlai always accepted the honors, humbly adding that the honors actually belonged to someone better, smarter, or stronger than him.

Those who knew Adlai as an adult knew him as a gentle, quiet man who was devoted to many causes. Even his own wife did not know about the shooting incident until one of his childhood friends told her.

As an adult, Adlai was respected and admired for the peaceful man he was.

The reader learns early on that Ulysses S. Grant does not like his job. There is no mention in the beginning exactly which job it is that he detests.

The thing he liked was speed. He loved to race and often challenged others to drag races while stopped at intersections. His lust for speed gave him an unsavory reputation with law enforcement officials and the man was issued many speeding tickets.

After dragging a traffic cop about 50 feet during one of his speeding moments, Grant was arrested and his vehicle impounded. He posted bond but did not show up for his own trial. Instead, he sent the police department a letter commending the bravery of the pedestrian traffic cop who latched onto his vehicle and stopped and arrested him that night. The letter came from the President of the United States. This is when the reader learns which job it was that Grant hated. Grant had been known to say that he never wanted to get out of anything as much as he wanted to get out of his job.

The author wonders if Grant's lust for speed and his disregard for his growing traffic record was an attempt at being fired from the job he hated. The idea is unlikely, but does add suspense to the story as told in the book.

He eventually settled into his role as president, but occasionally missed his first profession as army general.

Sarah Winchester was a very wealth woman, heir to the Winchester rifle fortune. Despite all her money, she was very lonely. Her only child died at only five weeks. Her husband passed away, too, leaving Sarah alone at their home in New Haven, Connecticut.

Sarah's inheritance was $20 million. She got an additional income of $1,000 per day. In 1884, that was quite a lot of money but it did not replace the loss of her loved ones.

In 1884, she moved to San Jose, California. She lived there for 38 years, then died there.

Sarah bought an eight room house along with 160 acres of land and began a massive remodeling project. She had crews working around the clock every day, probably to help quiet the pangs of loneliness she felt.

Sarah knew about grief, due to the loss of her infant daughter and husband. Guilt pulled her in to grieve for all the people who had lost their lives to the weapon that made her very rich. The Winchester rifle killed more Indians and U.S. soldiers than any other weapon during the early years of America.

The grief and guilt made her more than eccentric. She planned an eerie remodel of her home with specific instructions that sounded like the occult. She required each window to have 13 panes.Thirteen was a number she used throughout the house: walls had 13 panels, closets had 13 hooks and chandeliers had 13 globes. She incorporated spider web and pentagram designs into her new house, too. She was trying to ease her own guilt and grief by creating a home for spirits of all the people killed by her family's rifle.

The success of Horatio Alger was a rags to riches story. Alger was an American author who became popular writing many such stories about fictional characters.

Alger was born on a Friday the thirteenth, a superstitious "bad" day. As an infant, he was small and unhealthy. He caught every childhood disease, and in a time when medicines and vaccines were not fully developed, he actually survived all his illnesses. He also had severe asthma. Because of this, his parents kept him away from other children as he was growing up.

In addition to his health issues, Alger was late to start talking. His father was a preacher and Harvey suggests that because of his stern manners, the boy was intimidated. When he did finally begin talking, the boy stuttered.

Being sickly and afraid to talk, Alger turned to books for companionship and entertainment. At age 16 he took and passed the necessary exams to enter Harvard. His family couldn't pay the tuition, so he worked his way through college.

At Harvard, his writing and speaking skills improved. He taught during summers and won an essay contest to earn money for school.

His writing career did not come easily, but he persevered and finally enjoyed success. Most of his stories were rags to riches tales in which those who persevered won and became the hero. His writings promoted honesty, hard work and a little luck.

The rest of this story as told by Harvey is that Alger died broke. He does not give any explanation or details of how that happened.

At age 25, Vincent van Gogh was beginning to live his passion. He had already worked as an art dealer, a language teacher and a bookseller, but wanted more than anything to be an evangelist.

He became a minister in a small mining community. He won respect from the community when they saw his giving, caring nature. When a mining accident occurred, van Gogh was there to help care for all those injured. He helped feed and clothe the poor. Once the mining disaster was cleaned up and life got back to normal, all the townspeople flocked to his church. He became the spiritual leader of virtually the entire town.

He gave so much of himself that he even gave away his own clothing. When a church official visited, he was wearing an old military coat with pants made from a sack. The church official was not happy when he learned that the preacher had given his salary and many of his personal belongings away. He was fired on the spot.

Van Gogh was devastated that his dream had been squashed. He still felt the desperation of the townspeople and realized that he, too, was also desperate.

His art skills developed as he tried to express this despair—the despair he saw in others and that he felt within himself.

Harlan Sanders' life followed a rough road. His father died when he was only five. He dropped out of school at age 14 and ran away from home. Odd jobs as a farm hand didn't work out. He hated his next job as a streetcar conductor. At 16, Sanders lied about his age to get into the Army. He hated that too.

Out of the Army, Sanders took a job as a fireman with a railroad company. He liked it, but lost that job just as he found out his wife was pregnant.

While he was job hunting, his wife gave away all their belongings and moved back with her parents. Sanders was having a very tough time.

He tried several other careers unsuccessfully: selling insurance, selling tires, running a ferry boat and a gas station, and even tried studying law by correspondence.

Sanders was a cook at a local restaurant and did well in that job. Unfortunately a new highway route bypassed the restaurant, rerouting business away from it.

Sanders received his first social security check and got angry. He believed the government was limiting him and feeling sorry for him at the same time. The check was only for $105, but it was enough money to start the business that would end up bearing his likeness and making him famous and wealthy.

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