Heroes & Trailblazers

Gideon Sundback’s Invention of the Zipper

Gideon Sundback is credited with inventing the first zipper, but he was not the first to patent the device.  Sundback, however, created the first zipper... continue »

Cranberries and Thanksgiving: The Origin

Cranberries are one of only a handful of commercially-farmed fruits that are native to North America. But the sweet relish we enjoy at Thanksgiving is... continue »

Johnny Appleseed Debunked

The Johnny Appleseed story we usually hear is a folk legend. However, his story is based on the life of John Chapman, a man who... continue »

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... continue »

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... continue »

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,... continue »

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... continue »

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Inspiration for a Doghouse

Frank Lloyd Wright is among the best-known architects in the world, but few... continue »

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.... continue »

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... continue »

Sybil Ludington, 16, Helped Patriots in Revolutionary War

Sybil Ludington is known for her 40-mile night ride through parts of New York and Connecticut to alert American Patriots that the British military had... continue »

Mary Ellen Pleasant, Entrepreneur and Abolitionist

Abolitionist and successful Gold Rush entrepreneur Mary Ellen Pleasant was a free woman of mixed-race who dedicated her life to equality for African Americans. From... continue »