The Day the World Came to Town By Jim Defede

The Day the World Came to Town

By Jim Defede

  • Release Date: 2011-07-12
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 404 Ratings


The True Story Behind the Events on 9/11 that Inspired Broadway’s Smash Hit Musical Come from Away

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.


  • Lest we forget

    By Tom1381
    The events of 9/11 for the passengers of the Flights who landed in Gander were human kindness from our Canadian neighbors. The book is a page turner and eyes moist.
  • More Than The Musical

    By Rsbthree
    This book deserves an award for teaching us the true nature of human beings. The musical, “Come From Away”, does not do the book justice. You can tell the material is well-researched and that love is so much apart of the Christian “Newfies”. RSBTHREE
  • The Day the World Came to our Door

    By DonnaTNMN
    After seeing the Broadway play based on this book, Come From Away, I purchased and read this factual, heartfelt account of the people of the Gander New Foundland area and the 38 planes diverted there after 9/11. Highly recommend both the book and play. Thank you!
  • Restore faith in humanity

    By Bruce 3
    Great real life and true story of people stepping up for each other and expecting nothing in return :)
  • The day the world came to town

    By swiitgrl
    One of the very best books I have read and I have been reading for over 50 years. It made you laugh, made you cry, a book I could not put down. It also made me very proud that I was born in Newfoundland, and I am now a United States citizen living in this great country for 50 years
  • So Uplifting!!

    By CountryCommuter Austin, TX
    I quickly felt as though I was one of the passengers, and then interchangeably, one of the townspeople. Having lived thru the 9/11 (in Texas) through the whole ordeal, I was only aware of what Americans were going through (here). Reading this book 12+ years later, I now realize how it affected SO many other nationalities, but in different ways. I also never heard about (or thought of) all those flights that were inbound from other countries when the U.S. cancelled all landings, but now I know. What amazes me most is just HOW GENEROUS people are, to complete strangers, with NO expectation of repayment, and on the other side of that coin, how giving the American guests were after-the-fact. This was truly a wonderful book, written in a great form, that included a huge cast of characters in one book, but gave enough background on each one to make you think you knew them. I can't give this enough stars, but wish I could.
  • A New Perspective

    By Christina Ippolito
    My son was assigned this book to read for his Theology class. Over the past several years, I have realized the true enjoyment of reading his assignments for this class. This book, however, was more than exceptional. I thoroughly enjoyed the new perspective on 9/11. This enlightenment coupled with the dynamic characters, both Newfies and visitors alike, made this book an extraordinary read.
  • Previously Untold Story

    By CSpPi
    Just when you think every story about 9/11 has been rendered, you find a gem like this book. Heartwarming, beautiful - a testament to the human spirit.
  • The Day the World Came to Town

    By Melanie Jackson
    I have been waiting a long time for this book to be available in iBooks. One of the best books I have read!! Thank you to everyone involved in making this book possible!
  • Simply excellent

    By DebMichelle
    This unique view of a day that people think they've heard everything about is a must-read! Do not pass this up. A great story of support & unity.