Paul Harvey: “The fifty-cent toy that changed the word…”

Finding out the whole story is a fun way to expand your knowledge of history. Little stories along the way create the epic conclusion that historians remember. The great radio host, Paul Harvey, presented a show called ‘The Rest of the Story.’

The show consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts about a variety of subjects. Paul Harvey would hold back the critical element of the story, like a last name or location, until the end of the tale.

In this story, a 50-cent toy changed the world. A man named Milton was on a business trip when he saw a toy helicopter that could fly in a local shop. Milton was a former school teacher, so he knew it would be the perfect gift for his children.

He knew that if the children became interested in it, it would be impossible to prevent them from learning about it. The toy had to be assembled with rubber bands and various components to make it fly.

He purchased the helicopter and gave it to his children. They were in awe of the toy and immediately set out to build and fly the helicopter. Milton was so proud of his purchase, knowing that he gave his sons a quest for knowledge.

In Paul Harvey’s usual delivery, he says, “You’ve never met the educator turned minister, who, returning from a trip on church business bestowed a tiny yet enormous gift to his boys. Just an interested father named Milton Wright. All of your life, you’ve known his sons, Wilbur and Orville; only now you know the rest of the story!

Of course, the big reveal was the backstory to the Wright Brothers gaining their love of flight. The brothers changed how everyone uses transportation, all from the influence of a 50-cent toy.

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