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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

Triangle Shirtwaist Women, 1911

Remembering the immigrant women who died in the fire One hundred years ago today, a fire broke out on one floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist... continue »

Nancy Kelsey: First Woman to Travel to California by Wagon Train

Nancy Kelsey (1823-1896) was 17 years old and the mother of an infant daughter when she became the first woman to travel to California on... continue »

Sue Hendrickson (1949- )

Deep Sea Diver and Dinosaur Hunter Curiosity and serendipity helped Sue Hendrickson carve out an ideal life as an explorer. Hendrickson was raised in Indiana... continue »

Ruth Agnes McCall Robertson (1905-1998)

Photojournalist, War Correspondent, and Explorer Ruth Robertson was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1905 and one of her “firsts” was becoming the Peoria Journal Star’s... continue »

Bessie Coleman, Early Pilot

First African-American woman to earn an international pilot’s license Bessie Coleman (1893-1926) had limited career options as a woman and as an African American. When... continue »

Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

African American Performer who had to go to Europe to be Appreciated She was born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her... continue »

Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947)

Suffragist and founder of the League of Women Voters Carrie Chapman Catt dedicated her life to campaigning for woman suffrage both in the United States... continue »

Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochran): Investigative Reporter

Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran (1864-1922), made a name for herself as an investigative reporter for the New York World. She is generally remembered... continue »

Marian Wright Edelman (1939- )

Lawyer, activist, children's advocate Today we know her as the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund.  Her list of accomplishments started early; she... continue »

Agnes Nestor (1880-1948)

First female president elected to head an international labor union Nestor began work in a glove-making factory when she was still in her teens, and... continue »

Wilma Mankiller (1945-2010)

Native American community activist, tribal chief and tribal legislator Wilma Mankiller served her people as a Cherokee Chief from 1985-95, making her the first woman... continue »

Sheyann Webb (1956- )

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Smallest Freedom Fighter" Sheyann Webb grew up in a family of eight children in Selma, Alabama and attended a segregated public... continue »