The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (Signed Bookplate)

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The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away, Featuring All New Material from the Author. This book reaffirms the remarkable humanity and kindness that was shown in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It recounts the day that the population of Gander stood and said, ‘Today we aren’t just Americans, today we are the world’  as they opened their arms to 7,000 displaced, confused and scared people.

Published 2 Sep 2021

About the book…

When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.

About Our Connection with the Book…

Twenty years ago, in September 2001, Mrs Tea Leaves and Reads Grandparents were heading into New York for their annual trip to the USA. They were on the next plane into New York when the twin towers were targeted by terrorists. They were diverted to Newfoundland and so began their story, the story of so many people who were displaced on that very devastating day. The story that Jim writes about in his book.

About the Author…

Jim DeFede has been an award-winning journalist for sixteen years, first with the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and then with the Miami New Times. His work has appeared in Talk, The New Republic, and Newsday. He is currently a metro columnist for the Miami Herald.




Jim DeFede



Page Count



2 Sep 2021


William Morrow

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