Paul Harvey, Great American Broadcaster

For those of you too young to remember Paul Harvey, he was an American radio broadcaster for ABC News Radio. He broadcast news and comments on mornings and mid-day through-out the week and at noon on Saturdays. My favorite segment he broadcast was called, “The Rest of the Story.”

One such segment that I really enjoyed, I am about to unveil. Many times I’d be transfixed listening to Paul Harvey and his “Rest of the Story” segments. The broadcast highlighted historical references cataloging many events I’d read about or learned about through school. Paul Harvey always had a twist, a behind the scenes view of historical events that told a story with a flair that was significant in his ability to captivate his audience.

One such story began like this:

It was an unpopular war to begin with and so a draft was instated. This was the first time a draft had been instituted. Many believed that the wealthy could escape the draft through deferments while minorities and poor people had no choice and were drafted. There were demonstrations, and one such demonstration in New York City quickly got out of hand.

The demonstrators could be seen marching up 3rd Ave in New York City. Fifty thousand demonstrators overwhelmed the police…the police were virtually helpless. Business owners fled for their lives, closing their shops and escaping in the nick of time… except one.

This business owner, Charlie was a supplier of military equipment. He sold guns, uniforms, and munitions to the armed forces.

As the mob headed towards Charlies store he was warned that his business would be a likely target. But the stubborn New England-er was grim and determined to defend his property. News came that thousands of demonstrators were gathering to march up Broadway. His business was on Broadway and so friends and family begged him to give up his property and run for his life. Other merchants on the block had locked up their businesses and fled.

Not Charlie. He boarded up the windows and passed out guns and hand grenades to his staff. When the employees had been posted at strategic places around the store, Charlie made a last minute inspection and concluded that his staff was ready to repel any attack. Charlie’s little army waited in silence.

The mob could be heard only blocks away making their way up Broadway. Unmistakably the sounds of a distant riot were growing louder as Charlie and his staff waited in silence. The mob was only two blocks away many chanting and yelling, demolishing buildings and setting fires. Soon the anti-draft protestors would be in front of Charlies business.

But mercifully, somehow, police managed to turn the rampant protestors aside and the destruction continued down another street, 124 years ago. The draft riots that rocked the Big Apple took place in July of 1863. This riot was in response to a draft act compelling fifty thousand Irish immigrants to take to the streets in violent protest.

Charlie had been a jeweler before the outbreak of the war between the states. So, when the war began, Charlie expanded his business to include all military munitions, guns, and uniforms. He turned his elegant sparkling Manhattan showroom into a candy store for the killing machine.

After the war Charlies became the most prominent jewelry store in the western world. It became so famous as such that folks have forgotten what you have just learned…for the merchant that is a world famous jewelry store was once a war zone.

His name… Charles Lewis Tiffany

And now you know, the Rest of the Story.