John Rockefeller gave away kindness one nickel at a time.

rockefeller dimes to poorI was standing outside watering my lawn on a summer Monday morning and saw lots of long faces on the many commuters that drive by my house in the early AM. Many of these commuters looked like they could have used a small "pick me up".

Their less then excited faces made me think of a recent trip I went on to see President James Garfield's grave site in Lake View Cemetery. While I was there I also visited John D. Rockefeller's gravesite. I noticed that one or more people had been placing dimes on his headstone. I was curious about this and discovered that Rockefeller was often seen handing out dimes and nickels to poor adults and children. The story of his small acts of kindness traveled far and apparently has been remembered for many years after his death.

A dime wasn't much money to this millionaire, but these small acts brought a little bit of happiness into someone's life for a moment, and during a time when there wasn't much to be happy about, that made a memorable difference. Your act of kindness doesn't have to cost you much either, but often you find the return you receive far outweighs what you gave. Spreading happiness is always one of the best investments you can make. What small act of kindness can you do at work or school today?

rockefeller dimes to poor

Did John Rockefeller really hand out nickels and dimes to children?
Yes, he did! When he went walking he had one pocket full of nickels and another pocket full of dimes! He even gave dimes as a playful gesture to men like tire mogul Harvey Firestone and President Herbert Hoover. Wikipedia says, "John Rockefeller became well known in his later life for the practice of giving dimes to adults and nickels to children wherever he went. He even gave dimes as a playful gesture to wealthy men, such as tire mogul Harvey Firestone". However, Rockefeller didn't just give children a nickel. He also gave them a short message about saving the nickel and working hard. He told the children to work hard and be frugal, and that the coins were for saving, not for indulgence! It is estimated that Rockefeller gave out between 20,000 and 30,000 nickels and dimes during his lifetime and is said to have preferred giving you a nickel versus his autograph! MB

Source: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Chernow, (1998) p. 61314
Watch Rockefeller hand out nickels and dimes. (Skip to 1:30)

1. Visitors to Lake View place dimes on John Rockefeller's grave in hopes of gaining Rockefeller-like wealth. Source
2. During the Great Depression, Rockefeller switched to giving nickels instead of dimes. Source
3. John Rockefeller would have done well with cash gifting programs. Source
4. Many Rockefeller dimes and nickels are treasured to this day. Source
5. A picture of John Rockefeller giving dimes and nickels. Source
6. By 1920 Rockefeller already had become famous for handing out dimes. Source
7. John Rockefeller Dimes Held By Hundreds in Nyack Source

Other famous people
Andrew Carnegie   Barack Obama   Bill Cosby   Bill Clinton  Charlie Chaplin  Dick Van Dyke  Duncan Hines  Elvis Presley   Jerry Seinfeld
John Rockefeller  Larry King   Little Debbie  Lucille Ball   Harrison Ford  
Harry Truman  Henry Ford  Frank Sinatra
Henry Heinz   Ozzy Osbourne   Richard Sears 
Ulysses Grant  Wally Amos  William McKinley  William Wrigley 

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