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.

Amanda Theodosia Jones, Inventor and Owner of All-Woman Business

Amanda Theodosia Jones (1835-1914) was a multi-talented woman Amanda Theodosia Joneswho was a prolific inventor and a frequently published writer.  Her inventions were in two very different fields—food preservation/canning, and the use of oil as a fuel for furnaces.  In 1890 she also started and ran an all-woman canning business.

Growing Up

Amanda Jones was one of 13 children, born in East Bloomfield, New York. She attended local schools, eventually training to be a teacher at the East Aurora Academy. She was 15 when she first started teaching.

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

Alice Ramsey in duster
In 1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) became the first woman ever to drive from coast-to-coast.  Horatio Nelson Jackson (and his dog, Bud), who had made a San Francisco-to-New York drive in 1903, inspired interest in the challenge; Ramsey was the first woman who opted… Continue reading »

Rose Knox (1857-1950) was active in the Knox Gelatin Company from the start of the business in 1891, and she became president and CEO in 1908 when her husband Charles died unexpectedly. When Rose Knox took over, she re-oriented the company marketing to more directly address women…. Continue reading »

Gertrude Kasebier
Gertrude Käsebier was an American portrait photographer and one of the few professional women in the photography business at the turn of the century. Because Käsebier trained as a painter, she brought an artist’s sensitivity to portraiture that was not… Continue reading »

Fannie Farmer
Fannie Farmer (1857-1915) became famous as an author of a highly popular cookbook that broke new ground by specifying exact measurements in its recipes. She also served as principal of a cooking school and frequently lectured on good cooking and the science of nutrition. She accomplished all this… Continue reading »

During the Revolutionary War, there were numerous women who heroically stood up for the Patriots’ 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… Continue reading »

Isabella Coleman float
Isabella Coleman (1892-1982) designed floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade.  There were few other women designing floats at that time, and Coleman pioneered many of the more advanced techniques used on floats in the Rose Bowl Parade today. Her entries consistently won awards in some of… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On March 24, 1958 Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army.  He had registered for the draft in 1953 when he turned 18 but received a student deferment to finish high school. Four years later his number came up again, and he received another deferment—this time to finish filming his third Hollywood movie.  On March 24, 1958 he finally had to serve. He left as the King of Rock and Roll, and when he came back, he was still a teen idol but he began a new musical era with songs like “Pocketful of Rainbows.”

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