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
  • Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach

    The stray dog must have been about a year old when he wandered down Orange Avenue to Beach Street in Daytona Beach in 1940. The junction of these two streets brought him to a central location in town right...

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  • President James Garfield and Dog Veto

    President James Garfield (1831-1881) was a well-known and experienced politician when he became president in 1881. His time as president was cut short by an assassin’s bullet. The wound was not fatal, but because the medical community did yet...

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  • Dick and Jane: Story of These Early Readers

    Dick and Jane books were the predominant readers in public schools from the 1940s through the early 1960s. The books were created by educator Williams S. Gray and former teacher and reading consultant Zerna Sharp, who believed that the...

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  • Walter Knott: Farmer and Theme Park Pioneer

    Walter Knott (1889-1981) is best remembered for creating Knott’s Berry Farm, now a popular amusement park. He deserves to be remembered for many more contributions to the country. He was a dedicated and gifted farmer who was the first...

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  • WWI: U.S. Recruits Women Operators

    About six months after the U.S. entered World War I, the Signal Corps—the U.S. Communications unit of the Army—put out a call for women telephone operators. This was at the express request of General John J. Pershing, the top...

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  • Alice S. Wells: Among First Policewomen

    Alice Stebbins Wells (1873-1957) was among the earliest women hired to work in law enforcement in the United States. She urged passage of a law that would let her join the police force in Los Angeles, and in 1910,...

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  • Sarah Keys Evans: Taking a Stand for Civil Rights

    Sarah Keys Evans did not intend to take a stand for civil rights in 1952 when she boarded an interstate bus in Trenton, New Jersey. She was on leave from Fort Dix where she served in the Women’s Army...

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  • Colonel Charles Young, Notable Military Leader with Many Firsts

    Charles Young (1864-1922) graduated from West Point and went on to achieve the rank of colonel in the military, the highest rank of any African American in the early 20th century. Young was also a brilliant linguist and was...

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  • The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

    The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was an all-female black military unit created in 1944. These women are among the unsung heroes of World War II. The work they accomplished—hand-processing warehouses-full of undelivered mail–brought comfort to countless American soldiers...

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  • First Rearview Mirror Marketed as “Cop-spotter”

    The first widely distributed rearview mirror for automobiles was sold as the “Cop-spotter” by a fellow named Elmer Berger. Available as an auto accessory, the “Cop-spotter” retailed in hardware stores for about $4. (Cars did not routinely have any...

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  • Buster Brown Shoes and Mary Janes

    “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog, Tige, and he lives there, too,” went the jingle for Buster Brown shoes. The Brown Shoe Company began in 1878 as a partnership among three St. Louis...

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  • Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House

    Mar-a-Lago, now owned by presidential candidate Donald Trump, was built by Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) in the 1920s.

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  • Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle’s Dog, Luke

    Fatty Arbuckle’s dog, Luke, was one of the most talented stars of Fatty Arbuckle and Lukesilent films.  In a day when camera tricks were technologically not possible, Luke...

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  • White Castle Hamburgers: The Story

    White Castle holds the title of being the first fast-food restaurant inthe world. Their original hamburger eatery opened in Wichita, White Castle BLOOMINGTON, MN
    Getty Images

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  • The First Seeing Eye Dog is Used in America in 1928

    In the early twentieth century, those without sight were marginalized members of society. They had no job options and no mobility, and had to rely on the kindness of someone...

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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 July 23, 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out in the heart of inner city Detroit--12th Street. In the early morning hours, the police launched a raid against an illegal club. The people in side were celebrating the return of 2 servicemen from Vietnam. Onlookers gathered to watch, and soon public protest started. The military was called in, but it took four days to calm the city. Forth-three died, 342 were injured. Nearly 1,400 building burned.
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Who Thought of That?


Garrett Morgan was given the first patent on a three-signal traffic light

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American Presidents and Their Families

The Presidential Turkey Pardon

While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as... continue »

George Washington’s Teeth: A President in Pain

Throughout his life George Washington (1732-1799) suffered from dental problems. He lost many of his teeth while still young. The story of his teeth reveals... 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