Hail, Columbia! happy land!
Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause.
— Joseph Hopkinson
Hero: A person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities.
Patriot: A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
Heroes and patriots in the United States are made every day, a fact that has occurred since the first man set foot on the soil of this great nation. From the smallest deeds of kindness to the brave soldiers that have given their lives for this country, these hundreds of thousands of men and women come from every race, religion and ethic group. Their stories and histories are varied, their actions and deeds diverse, leaving their marks on every part of our culture and heritage. They are law officers, politicians, soldiers, inventors, explorers, artists, activists, writers, business people and ordinary folks. Some are famous — most are not.
We cannot begin to list them here, nor can we even begin to know about the vast majority. But, their “legendary” deeds and accomplishments belong on the pages of Legends of America, and to that end, this page begins.
U.S. Heroes & Patriots:
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) – One of Founding Fathers of the United States, Adams was a statesman, political philosopher, and leader of the movement that became the American Revolution.
Susan “Doc Susie” Anderson (1870-1960) – One of the first female pioneer physician in the West.
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) Leader in the American AntiSlavery Society, she later turned her life’s devotion to women’s suffrage and, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, founded the National Woman Suffrage Association and the newspaper Revolution.
Nathaniel Bacon (1640s-1676) – A wealthy colonist of the Virginia Colony who instigated Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676.
Ida B. Wells Barnett (1862-1931) – A black journalist and militant civil rights leader, she was a cofounder of the NAACP and the first president of the Negro Fellowship League.
Clara Barton (1824-1912) Called the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her first aid heroism during the Civil War, she was instrumental in founding the American Red Cross.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) – Scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955) The daughter of former slaves, Mary became a writer, educator, a champion of humanitarian causes, and an advocate of civil rights and education for Blacks.
Buffalo Soldiers – Though African Americans have fought in various military conflicts since colonial days, they did not receive the nickname of “Buffalo Soldiers” until they began to battle Cheyenne warriors in 1867.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) – Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, entrepreneur and a major philanthropist.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) – American scientist, botanist, educator and inventor.
George Rogers Clark – (1752-1818) – Soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War.
Henry Clay (1777-1852) – Nineteenth-century American statesman, orator, negotiator, and politician who has been dubbed one of the greatest Senators in U.S. history.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka: Mark Twain (1835-1910) – Author and humorist, he is sometimes called the “Father of American Literature.”
Davy Crockett (1786-1836) – Frontiersman, explorer, and American folk hero, Crockett a represented Tennessee in the U.S. Congress, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the age of 49 at the Battle of the Alamo.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) – Inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world.
Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (1890-1969) – A five-star general in the United States Army and the 34th President of the United States. Eisenhower ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – German-born Swiss-American theoretical physicist, philosopher and author who is widely regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time. He is often regarded as the father of modern physics.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) – Inventor who introduced the Model T automobile, which revolutionized transportation and American industry and founder of the Ford Motor Company. During his lifetime, he was awarded 161 U.S. patents.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) – Intellectual, author, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat, Franklin is noted as being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Robert Fulton (1765-1815) – Fulton was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing a commercially successful steamboat called the Claremont.
A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.
— Bob Dylan, American folksinger
Deborah Sampson Gannett (1760-1827) She signed up for the 4th Massachusetts Regiment under an assumed male name, becoming the first woman to enlist as a soldier in the American army. After being wounded nineteen months later, she received an honorable medical discharge and, later, a military pension.
William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) – Journalist and social reformer, he is best known as the editor of the radical abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a prominent voice for the women’s suffrage movement.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) – American General and the 18th President of the United States, he achieved international fame as the leading Union general in the Civil War. However, he wasn’t rated well as an American President.
Nathan Hale (1755-1776) – Soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, he is known as America’s first spy. He is best remembered for his speech before being hanged following the Battle of Long Island, in which he said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”