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.
On November 28, 1895, the first motor-car race in the United States was held along a 54-mile lakeshore loop from Chicago to Waukegan. The race was held despite a big snowstorm, and the cars slipped into snowdrifts and stalled frequently. The winner was Frank Duryea who made the trip in 10 hours and 23 minutes, driving an average of 5 ¼ miles per hour. Frank then returned to his shop in Massachusetts where he and his brother proceeded to turn out 13 handmade cars, making them the biggest car manufacturer in the U.S. at that time.