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.


Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anti-Slavery Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher StoweHarriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the power of words to bring to light the injustice of slavery. She wrote: “…the enslaving of the African race is a clear violation of the great law which commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Family

The family lived in Litchfield, Connecticut, and they were notable for their high level of education and their dedication to public service.

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


vintage flag
Mary Pickersgill (1776-1857) was a well-regarded flagmaker in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1813 she was approached by U.S. military representatives to make an oversized United States flag that would fly over Fort McHenry, the army post that guarded the Baltimore harbor. This flag was to become what we know… Continue reading »

Amanda Theodosia Jones
Amanda Theodosia Jones (1835-1914) was a multi-talented woman who 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… Continue reading »

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-hat
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 »

This Day in History

On April 26, 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials began. The first vaccines were given in McLean, Virginia. Eventually 1.8 million children were vaccinated during the double-blind trials.  Less than a year later, researchers pronounced the vaccine to be safe and effective.

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