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.

Pop culture is as American as apple pie. Enjoy the stories behind favorite hobbies, sports, and collectibles.


Baseball Catcher’s Mask: How It Was Invented

In today’s game of baseball, the catcher’s mask is a fundamental

Getty Images
Getty Images

piece of equipment. The player positioned behind home plate is in a vital but dangerous position.

From his vantage point, the catcher can see the whole field, letting him observe and respond to the ongoing game in a way that no other player can. But it also puts him in the direct line of fire during batting. He may be hit by an errant pitch or a flying bat or pieces of a splintered one. Injuries from any of these causes can be serious. Catchers have been known to be knocked unconscious during play. Protective gear is essential.

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


Dorothy Arzner
Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) was a Hollywood film director.  A woman director was a rarity in the early days of filmmaking. She directed films from 1926-1943 and amassed a considerable body of work. Arzner was also the first woman to become a member of the Directors Guild of America. How… Continue reading »

black jockey Isaac Murphy
Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-1896) is considered one of the all-time great jockeys in Thoroughbred racing.  He was the first black jockey to be inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. Among his many credits were three wins at the Kentucky Derby… Continue reading »

Kenny Washington
Kenny Washington (1918-1971) was the first African American to sign with an NFL team after a 13-year unspoken pact among owners to bar black football players from teams. Kenny Washington signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946, pre-dating baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s 1947 signing with the Brooklyn… Continue reading »

Candy Land has had a long and illustrious history. It has been a top seller for almost 70 years, and in 2005 the game was added to the National Toy Hall of Fame. The game was created in the 1940s by a school teacher who was… Continue reading »

Scrabble
The Scrabble Brand Crossword Game began as the idea of Alfred Mosher Butts (1899-1993), an architect who found himself unemployed during the Great Depression. Butts, who lived with his wife in Jackson Heights, New York, was not one to feel sorrow for himself when he… Continue reading »

Progress often grows from zany ideas. When we look back at the history of the automobile, we see one of those circumstances. Robert Guggenheim, a wealthy member of the Guggenheim family, thought it would be great fun to hold a coast-to-coast car race in the United States.  This was a pretty crazy idea for 1909.  There weren’t that many cars… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, was inaugurated as the first president of the United States. In his inaugural address, he spoke of “the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” The evening celebration was opened and closed by 13 skyrockets and 13 cannons.

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