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

Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), Educator, Scholar, and Activist

One of the most prominent African-American scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries  gave voice to African-Americans, from the end of slavery to the civil... continue »

Susie King Taylor (1848-1912), Educator, Author, Activist

First woman to openly teach former slaves at a school in Georgia. Only African-American woman to publish a memoir of her work during the Civil... continue »

Jessie Field Shambaugh (1881-1971)

Implemented program for young people that became 4-H Though most of us currently live in urban or suburban areas, our country’s roots are rural. To... continue »

Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998)

African-American artist who broke racial barriers Building a successful career as an artist is a difficult challenge for anyone. Lois Mailou Jones created a successful... continue »

Katy Payne (1937- )

American Acoustical Biologist A week’s observation of baby elephants at the Washington Park Zoo in Portland, Oregon led scientist Katy Payne to leave her 15-year... continue »

Louise A. Boyd (1887-1972)

Arctic Explorer Louise Boyd was born into a wealthy California family but instead of using her inherited wealth to live grandly in a stately home,... continue »

Triangle Shirtwaist Women, 1911

Remembering the immigrant women who died in the fire One hundred years ago today, a fire broke out on one floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist... continue »

Nancy Kelsey: First Woman to Travel to California by Wagon Train

Nancy Kelsey (1823-1896) was 17 years old and the mother of an infant daughter when she became the first woman to travel to California on... continue »

Sue Hendrickson (1949- )

Deep Sea Diver and Dinosaur Hunter Curiosity and serendipity helped Sue Hendrickson carve out an ideal life as an explorer. Hendrickson was raised in Indiana... continue »

Ruth Agnes McCall Robertson (1905-1998)

Photojournalist, War Correspondent, and Explorer Ruth Robertson was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1905 and one of her “firsts” was becoming the Peoria Journal Star’s... continue »

Bessie Coleman (1893-1926)

First African-American woman to get an international pilot’s license Bessie Coleman's older brothers had fought in World War I and came home and told her... continue »

Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

African American Performer who had to go to Europe to be Appreciated She was born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her... continue »