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.

The Delacorte Clock in Central Park Zoo

Delacorte monkeysThe Delacorte Clock in Central Park has been delighting families with its carousel of animals dancing to musical chimes since it was first created in 1965.

The musical clock built above the arcade between the main part of the Central Park Zoo and the Children’s Zoo, was the idea of George T. Delacorte, Jr. (1894-1991), who built a successful publishing company that started out as Delacorte Press and eventually became Dell Publishing. As Delacorte’s wealth increased, he found it increasingly unsatisfying to write checks to various good causes; he wanted to contribute beautiful things–monuments, statues, and fountains–to New York City, the place he had always called home. Continue reading

Robert Ripley
Robert Ripley (1890-1949) achieved worldwide fame through his “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” column, a wildly popular newspaper panel series and radio program during the 1930s and ’40s. The phrase, “Believe It or Not” became a well-known saying of the day. At a… Continue reading »

bubble gum
Bubble gum.  Few adults chew it, but all of us surely chewed the delightful pink stuff while growing up:  the sweet smell when unwrapping the paper, the powdery sugar that came off on one’s fingers, the fun  of reading the funnies wrapped inside, and the thrill of… Continue reading »

Emancipation Day
Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The D.C. Emancipation Act was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862, and it granted immediate emancipation to all slaves within… Continue reading »

Woodcraft lesson
The Woodcraft Indians organization was an American forerunner of the Boy Scouts. Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946) was its founder.  In forming the Woodcraft Indians in 1902, Seton places himself among the two or three people who introduced environmentalism to America in the early twentieth century. Ernest Thompson Seton… Continue reading »

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the power of words to bring to light the injustice of slavery. She wrote: “…the enslaving of the African race is a… Continue reading »

vintage flag
Mary Pickersgill (1776-1857) was a well-regarded flagmaker in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1813 she was approached by U.S. military representatives to make an oversized United States flag that would fly over Fort McHenry, the army post that guarded the Baltimore harbor. This flag was to become what we know… Continue reading »



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."

This Day in History

On June 1,1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world’s first 24-hour television news network, went on the air for the first time. CNN made news reporting a round-the-clock affair, thereby making it possible for people to tune into the news whenever they wanted to, instead of waiting for scheduled broadcasts.

site by: Deyo Designs
Copyright © 2011-2014 Kate Kelly, America Comes Alive | Site Map
Follow Kate >
Get every new post on America Comes Alive! delivered to your inbox.