Welcome to America Comes Alive!, a site I created to share little-known stories of America’s past. These stories are about Americans—people just like you—who have made a difference and changed the course of history. Look around the site and find what inspires you.

This section began as a celebration of March and Women’s History Month; it continues as a regular feature because there are so many unrecognized women who have made major contributions to history.

Revolutionary War: The Women Who Should be Remembered

During the Revolutionary War, there were numerous women who heroically stood up for the CorbinPatriots’ cause, yet so often the stories we hear take on the aspect of myth. Betsy Ross’ story is a good example.

Yet there are so many actions women took that were helpful to the cause.  Because of this, America Comes Alive presents to you three little-known stories of women who fought during our War of Independence. They, too, deserve celebration every July 4.

First woman to Receive Military Pension

Margaret Corbin (1751-1800) was wounded while fighting at the Battle of Fort Washington, and she eventually became the first woman to ever receive a military pension from Congress.

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington planned that Fort Lee (on the New Jersey side of the Hudson) and Fort Washington (on the Manhattan side; a park between West 183rd and 185th Streets is where the fort was once located) were to be on guard to prevent the British from moving up the Hudson River. It was vital to hold both forts.

Continue reading…

"What can one person do?"
Read some of the stories on this site; you'll see that they revolve around single individuals who worked toward change.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Rose Parade float for Shriners Children's Hospital
• Started designing floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade when she was 14 • Went on to design 250 award-winning floats over a fifty-year career • Made lasting contributions to the way… Continue reading »

On March 4, 2014 I was invited to Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, to help them celebrate Women’s History Month.  I addressed an audience of engaged students and faculty with my talk on women in medicine: “Health and Wellness in America: Little Known Women Who Have Made a Difference.” Drawing on my background of having… Continue reading »

plume hunting
Environmentalist who led campaign to ban the use of feathers in fashion, saving millions of birds  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, millions of North American birds were killed for their feathers.  There was so much money to be made by plume hunters that… Continue reading »

Martha 1
First woman field naturalist to obtain and prepare her own specimens Set a precedent for showing the animals in lifelike poses surrounded by a natural setting Was the first to find and identify the Colorado screech owl; in her honor, a Smithsonian ornithologist named the bird for her, Scops… Continue reading »

sacajawea headshot
Served as interpreter and symbol of peace to Native Americans whom the Corps of Discovery  encountered on their trip West; Her knowledge of edible plants often saved the men from starvation. Sacagawea (ca. 1788-1812) is the Native American woman who accompanied the Army Corps of Discovery, led by Captain… Continue reading »

220px-Mary_Edwards_Walker 1
• Volunteered with the Union Army but had to serve as a nurse, not a physician because of her gender; eventually surgeons were so badly needed that her skills were put to use; • In 1865 Dr. Mary Walker was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On March 6, 1899 Frederick Bayer & Co. was granted a patent for Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, now the most common drug found in household medicine cabinets. Bayer lost the patent on Aspirin during World War I. Eventually the company name and trademarks for the U.S. and Canada were purchased by Sterling Products (later Sterling Winthrop). By 1994 Bayer was an independent company again, and bought back the patent on aspirin and other OTC drugs.

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