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

Inspirational Women

Margaret Knight (1838-1914), Inventor of Paper Grocery Bag

 Received first patent in 1868; obtained at least 25 more patents over her lifetime  Invented a machine that could create the square-bottomed grocery bag that... continue »

Hattie Carnegie (1880-1956), Successful Fashion Entrepreneur

 Made elegant clothing available to wealthy American women  Pioneered concept of head-to-hem stores  Made the Carnegie Look the rage for fashion-conscious women Henrietta Kanengeiser was... continue »

Lorraine Hansberry 3rd (1930-1965), Influential Playwright

Youngest American and first black playwright to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award First black woman to have a play on Broadway Active... continue »

Inventor of the Diaper Cover and Forerunner of the Disposable Diaper

Marion Donovan (1917-1998) grew up as the daughter of an inventor, so when she became a mother and began to see the areas where child... continue »

The All American Red Heads, Women’s Professional Basketball Team, 1936-1986

The All American Red Heads, a women's professional basketball... continue »

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), Seven Terms in Congress (NY)

First African-American woman elected to Congress First woman to run for Democratic presidential nomination (1972); Margaret Chase Smith had run for Republican nomination in 1964... continue »

Ann Petry (1908-1997), Successful Novelist

One of first writers to address the experiences of black women Her book, The Street, was the first book by an African-American woman to sell... continue »

Frances Wills and Harriet Ida Pickens, First African-American Women to become WAVES Officers (1944)

With so many men going overseas during World War II, the government needed ways to get additional help. In the Navy their solution was to... continue »

The Hunt for Amelia Earhart

Recently news organizations reported on the $2.5 million dollar project that was mounted this summer to use new clues and equipment to try to uncover... continue »

Julia McWilliams Child (1912-2004)

This week we celebrate the 100th anniversary since the birth of Julia Child. Here... continue »

Girl Scouts Turn 100: Profile of Founder Juliette Gordon Lowe (1860-1927)

This week the Girl Scouts are celebrating their 100th year of scouting. The idea for the Girl Scouts of the USA started with Juliette Gordon... continue »

Women Inventors

If asked to name a woman inventor, could you?  They are out there but male inventors have dominated for years.  Until about 1840, only about... continue »