who is michael class anthony and the magic picture frame author

Michael Class lives in the present, but he is traveling into the future. When he was a child, he had the ability to slow down - and even stop - time. He especially liked to stop time on warm summer days, while lying on his back on a grassy hill and looking up at wisps of white clouds passing high overhead in the bright blue sky. He could make the day stretch itself out for what seemed like forever. If you are old enough, you may remember some summer days from your childhood that seemed to last forever. You can thank Michael Class for those.

Michael Class lost the ability to control time when he became an adult. Now, he moves forward in time at an ever-increasing rate, unable to stop time’s progress ...


"I hope these stories of the past bring you many hours of reading enjoyment. I hope you discover something new and exciting every time you open this book."


E-Mail: class@MagicPictureFrame.com

michael class anthony and the magic picture frame author



(A puzzle no one has solved. But, you'll need the book to solve it.)

12-4-9, 16-1-1, 20-6-6, 24-3-6, 34-4-2, 38-6-6, 46-3-1


92-10-1, 103-1-1, 111-7-5, 123-5-2, 130-2-4, 147-6-8, 156-3-7, 158-4-1


92-2-8, 87-1-10, 112-1-13

127-6-4, 139-1-7, 158-3-4, 103-1-7, 103-2-4

76-2-2, 16-3-1, 12-5-2, 55-1-6, 95-8-6, 124-3-6, 158-4-3




This book is dedicated to my parents and grandparents.

If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here.


This book is dedicated to my wife and children.

They are the light in my life, and they shine brightly.


This book is dedicated to America’s children.

May the light of other days shine down around them, and show them the way.


This book is dedicated to the teachers of America’s children.

May they be reminded of that which they once knew.


This book is dedicated to all who dream.

May they find the courage to make their dreams come true.


This book is dedicated to America and all those who dream of it.


Michael S. Class, 2005 

anthony and the magic picture frame american history book
See the Book Jacket

The book is not a "Survey of American History" and does not attempt to teach a comprehensive course in American history. The book tells only a few stories—stories chosen to illustrate important life lessons that can be valuable to anyone today.

And yet, within this context, the book does indeed provide stories about the diverse peoples who helped build this great nation—and it encourages the reader to find out more. Readers will find a list of hundreds of recommended books, movies, music, and even places to visit that celebrate these contributions. Footnotes include short stories as well.

Some examples:

Chapter 3 is the true story of how my family came to America from Italy through Ellis Island with immigrants from many countries—an "ethnic story" if ever there was one.

Dozens of references in the book's narrative, the hundreds of footnotes, the list of recommended movies and books and music tell the stories of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, the first female baseball leagues, Jackie Robinson, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Jim Thorpe, Helen Keller, the first US Army units during the Civil War to be made up entirely of African-American men ... and well, just looking at the list of nearly 600 recommended movies the list goes on and on.

In chapter 6, when Anthony hears a strange language on the radio during the fighting on Iwo Jima, footnotes tell the whole story about the secret code the American military developed based on the Native American Navajo language. The radiomen that Anthony heard were the heroic "Navajo Codetalkers."

In chapter 2, when Anthony sees America's seven original astronauts preparing for Project Mercury in 1959, footnotes lead to a story few people know: the story of the thirteen female astronauts who trained right beside them.

And so much more ...

The theme of the book is simple: What we learn about the past can help us today, and that "the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose, and doing the right thing always matters."

The chapter on Thomas Edison is about building businesses, employing people, capitalism, and entrepreneurship. The lesson of the chapter is that hard work pays off—for yourself, and for others around you.

The chapter about Lindbergh's transatlantic flight is about planning, perseverance, and choosing one's destiny.

The story of baseball hero Lou Gehrig is about honesty, character, choosing proper role models, and living a virtuous life.

The story of Apollo 11 is about wonder, goal-setting, competition, taking risks, and courage.

The story of Dr. Jonas Salk and the cure for polio is really about dedicating one's life to a higher purpose.

Anthony's story about meeting his great-grandfather at Ellis Island is really about marriage, family, striving for success in difficult times and against adversity, and what it means to be an American.

Anthony's observation of D-Day and the liberation of the death camps during the Holocaust is a testament to the reality of evil and the need to fight it.


I had intended three additional chapters for the book. I now call them the "Lost Chapters."

I outlined and photographed a chapter on the Civil War, but deleted it from the plan for the final book. The book was just too big and expensive, and something had to go. So the Civil War photos and stories have never been seen.

I really hated to lose this chapter and especially the story of Booker T. Washington, because I was planning to tie it into the World War II chapter and tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen more fully. It would have closed a "time loop." I ended up including the story of America's first Black Military Pilots and Aces in the notes to the WWII chapter, but my Tuskegee heroes really deserved more than that.

The photo of President Abraham Lincoln visiting the Union Army Headquarters in Antietam is the only Civil War photograph to make it into the final book. The photo is on the back cover of the book, and referenced in the book's introduction—but the Civil War story is never told. People often write to me and ask why the photo is on the back cover. Now you know.

I also planned to tell the story of the first African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Many people have seen the 1989 film, GLORY, and I do recommend and list the movie in the book—but not many people know the story of Sargeant William Harvey Carvey and Sargeant Major Christian Fleetwood, African-American Civil War soldiers who received the Medal of Honor for their valor and achievements during the war. Anthony was honored to meet them.

I had planned to have Anthony meet Harriet Tubman and travel the Underground Railroad, bringing slaves to freedom. The story is inspirational and the photos were some of my favorites, too.

Of course the reason to include this lengthy chapter was for Anthony to compare the lessons of the Civil War, the horrendous history of slavery, the later Civil Rights movement and the quest for equality, to his present day. I grew up in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, experienced racial unrest and riots in my high school years, and in my neighborhood. It's a story with much relevance to the modern day, and it was important to me.

I also outlined and photographed some chapters in which Anthony's sister, Angela, stepped through the Picture Frame to meet female heroes from America's past. I never finished those chapters—nor my plans for a second book based on Angela's adventures—so those stories and photographs have never been seen.

One such story involved Anthony in 1912 with Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of America. Angela, a Girl Scout herself in modern times, is in Anthony's bedroom, looking into the past and about to step through the Picture Frame and into 1912 to meet Juliette Gordon Low. Angela's adventures in the past would have begun there.

Angela would also meet Annie Oakley, the American sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Annie Oakley is considered by many to be America's first female superstar. I wanted to include this chapter because it "closed a loop" with Anthony's previous story of meeting Thomas Edison. Edison filmed Annie Oakley with his new invention—the motion picture camera—in his motion picture studio. Anthony visited the studio, so the plan was to have the two time travelers, Anthony and Angela, meet at that intersection in time. It would have been interesting because the "original" Anthony would not expect to see his sister and would wonder how she traveled back in time, but Angela would tell him that it was Anthony himself who sent her back after he returned from his trip.

Finally, I outlined and photographed a chapter about the invention of the artificial heart, but deleted it from the plan for the final book for cost. So the artificial heart photos and stories have never been seen.

I really hated to lose this chapter because it had so many interesting twists and turns and intriguing people. It is a story most people don't know. There were famous pioneering surgeons like Dr. William DeVries, Dr. Michael DeBakey, and Dr. Robert Jarvik—but there was also the story of American ventriloquist Paul Winchell who invented and patented an artificial heart with the assistance of Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver. There were also the touching stories of the first people to undergo the implantation of the devices.


So, yes, some things are missing. The best laid plans, as they say.

But even so, I think the final version of the book has a lot to offer. The book challenges the reader to see the modern world in the light of the lessons of the past. Anthony compares the people and events of the past with the people and events of his own time. Anthony discusses the nature of good and evil, right and wrong, war and peace, what it means to be an American, honor and discipline, success and achievement, courage and destiny, marriage and family, God and purpose.

I hope these stories of the past bring you many hours of reading enjoyment. I hope you discover something new and exciting every time you open the book. And I hope the book inspires you to learn more.

Michael Class / MVM
June 2020