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. Kate Kelly

Inspirational Women

Latinas in World War II: A Little-Recognized Group

In the 1930s during the Great Depression, Americans were looking for scapegoats, and in an effort to save jobs for “real Americans” they began rounding... continue »

Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934), First Woman to Be a Bank President

Maggie Lena Walker was born in 1864 to Elizabeth Draper, a former slave who worked at the Richmond home of Elizabeth Van Lew, an abolitionist... continue »

Sarah Winnemucca (ca. 1844-1891) Educator and Advocate for Native Americans

Documented her life as a Native American in an autobiographical book published in 1883 Spoke forcefully for her people at a time when women had... continue »

Luisa Moreno, (1907-1992), Labor Organizer

Activist in the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement (which preceded Chicano activism) Organized first National Congress of Spanish-Speaking People (1938) Luisa Moreno was born in Guatemala... continue »

Hazel Bishop (1906-1998), Research Chemist Who Made Name in Cosmetics

Hazel Bishop grew up in New Jersey; her father and mother ran several small businesses so dinner table conversation frequently concerned business issues. Bishop’s mother... continue »

Woman-Owned, Minority-Owned Construction Company Marks 108 Years and Counting

"The road to success is always under construction," aptly quotes Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO of McKissack & McKissack, a New York construction company... continue »

Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), Writer and Highly Respected War Correspondent

Covered Spanish Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam War as well as wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and the U.S. invasion of Panama... continue »

Stephanie L. Kwolek (1923-2014), Chemist and Inventor of Kevlar

Created the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength Worked on the team that took her creation from invention to product implementation;... continue »

Margaret Knight (1838-1914), Inventor of Paper Grocery Bag

 Received first patent in 1868; obtained at least 25 more patents over her lifetime  Invented a machine that could create the square-bottomed grocery bag that... continue »

Hattie Carnegie (1880-1956), Successful Fashion Entrepreneur

 Made elegant clothing available to wealthy American women  Pioneered concept of head-to-hem stores  Made the Carnegie Look the rage for fashion-conscious women Henrietta Kanengeiser was... continue »

Lorraine Hansberry 3rd (1930-1965), Influential Playwright

Youngest American and first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award First black woman to have a play on Broadway Active... continue »

Inventor of the Diaper Cover and Forerunner of the Disposable Diaper

Marion Donovan (1917-1998) grew up as the daughter of an inventor, so when she became a mother and began to see the areas where child... continue »