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  • Ida Rosenthal: Pioneered Bra Industry with Maidenform

    Ida Rosenthal emigrated from Russia in the early 1900s and supported her family as a dressmaker. As she responded to the marketplace, she and a partner soon crafted dresses with built-in bras—freeing women from corsets. Because the dress designs...

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  • Yukon King, Dog Star of “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon”

    A dog named King, an Alaskan malamute, played the heroic companion to Royal Canadian Mountie Sergeant Preston on the 1955 television show, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.  The TV show was based on a long-running radio program called Challenge...

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  • Jim the Wonder Dog: Was He Psychic?

    Jim the Wonder Dog caused quite a sensation in Missouri in the 1930s. He was a Llewellyn setter and was a very impressive bird dog, known for the number of birds he could spot and retrieve. But that wasn’t...

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  • Phineas Banning, Father of the L.A. Harbor

    Phineas Banning is known as the “Father of the Los Angeles Harbor.” He deserves that title and more. He arrived in the San Pedro/Los Angeles area with nothing in 1851. He found that his calling in addressing the transportation...

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  • Helen Keller’s Dogs

    Helen Keller’s life was filled with dogs. Though she was born before dogs were being trained as guide dogs for the blind, Keller knew what dog lovers around the world know—dogs are great companions. “A dog never let me...

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  • Miniature Golf: Its Beginning

    Miniature golf was first patented by Garnet Carter (1883-1954) in 1931. Carter owned a hotel called the Fairyland Inn on Lookout Mountain (Georgia) near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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  • Collie Travels 2500 Miles to Return to Oregon Home

    In the 1920s, a collie mix was separated from his family in Wolcott, Indiana, where the family vacationed the summer of 1923. Frank and Elizabeth Brazier and their two daughters, Nova and Leona, lived in Silverton, Oregon, along the...

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  • Sled Dog Team Travels from Nome to D.C., 1907

    A sled dog team making its way from Nome, Alaska, to Washington, D.C. in 1907 grabbed headlines across the nation. The trip was 8000 miles through snow drifts and grasslands and was a wager undertaken by Eli Smith, musher...

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  • A Dalmatian in the Civil War

    A handsome dalmatian followed Quartermaster General Rufus Ingalls wherever he went at Army headquarters at City Point, Virginia. General Ingalls (1818-1893) returned from a short trip to Washington, D.C. accompanied by what was referred to at the time as...

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  • Detroit’s History, Told in Vignettes

    Detroit’s story is a truly American story, and it’s unique because of its prime location in the Midwest. By understanding what happened in Michigan through the years, we can more fully comprehend the story of our country, from the...

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  • WWII WASP Mascot Created by Roald Dahl and Disney Studios

    Roald Dahl and Walt Disney Studios collaborated to create what became the mascot for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She was a fairy-like female gremlin known as Fifinella.

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  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Inspiration for a Doghouse

    Frank Lloyd Wright is among the best-known architects in the world, but few know that among his commissions was a doghouse. How It Came About After Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home for the Berger family of San Anselmo,...

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  • Deaf Lifeguard Saved Almost 1000 From Drowning

    Leroy Colombo became deaf when he suffered spinal meningitis when he was seven years old (1912). He grew up to be a remarkably good lifeguard. Being deaf might have disqualified him for lifeguarding under certain circumstances, but Leroy’s deafness...

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  • Cracker Jack: Ever-Popular Baseball Snack

    Cracker Jack holds the spot as “most famous of baseball snacks.” Remarkably, it has held that honor for over 100 years. The snack itself began as a simple, inexpensive confection sold by street vendors in Chicago.  The story of...

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  • Hazel Ying Lee: First Female Chinese American Military Pilot

    Hazel Ying Lee broke barriers by becoming the first female Chinese-American pilot to fly for the military during World War II. Women were not permitted by the U.S. military to fly overseas missions, but they assumed responsibility for the...

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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
This
Day

On September 22, 1953, the first four-level highway interchange in the world opened in Los Angeles, California. Up until this date, highway designers generally created cloverleaf ramps to permit traffic to merge from one highway to another. In L.A., the four-level interchange merged traffic from four freeways–the Harbor Freeway, the Hollywood Freeway and Pasadena and Santa Ana freeways–and was intended to increase safety. Today, however, it is used by at least 500,000 cars per day, meaning that it is still stressful and dangerous for drivers traveling it during the busy rush hour.

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Who Thought of That?


Bubble gum was the dream of the Frank Fleer, but it took an accountant at Fleer Corporation to come up with the right recipe.

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Heroes & Trailblazers

Elizabeth Thorn (1832-1907): Six Months Pregnant and Burying the Dead at Gettysburg

Stepped in to serve as cemetery caretaker since her husband was off fighting for the Union Often referred to as "Angel of Gettysburg" Elizabeth Masser... continue »

Adelina Otero-Warren (1881-1965), Suffragist

One of first female government officials in New Mexico First New Mexican woman and the first Latina to run for national office Suffragist Born into... continue »
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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