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

Topics At America Comes Alive

Part of the inspiration for this site comes from a remark made by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams (1860-1935)
"People do not want to hear about simple things. They want to hear about great things - simply told."


On February 19, 1847, the first rescuers reached the surviving members of the Donner party at their snowbound camp in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains. The 89-member wagon train party from Springfield was traveling to California and took what they thought was a shortcut. It delayed them, however, and they were eventually stalled by a winter storm. Fifteen of their stronger members set out for help in mid-December but the first rescue party did not arrive until February 19. Ultimately, only 45 of the 89 people survived.
If you love what you’re reading, sign up for any of these free mailings:

Who Thought of That?

The Fold-a-way bed was created by Sarah E. Goode who was the first African-American woman to ever receive a patent (1885)

Learn More »

Heroes & Trailblazers

Houses Tell Compelling Stories

Have you ever thought about who built your house? Who lived in it before... 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 »
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