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.

General George Custer and his Many Dogs

General George Custer loved his dogs, and he had many of them. Custer and dog Throughout much of his military career, a good number of his dogs accompanied him everywhere.  He had so many dogs (40-80) that even if he set out with fifteen or twenty of them, there were still plenty of dogs to stay home with his wife Libby.

Custer’s First Dog After the Civil War

While George Custer likely had dogs before his time at West Point and during his Civil War service, the first documented dog that belonged to the Custers was one named Byron, an English Greyhound that he acquired while he and Libby were stationed in Hempstead, Texas.  Soon after this, the general became enamored of the hunting dogs that Texas planters were using, and his friends began giving him a dog or two from their packs.  These were Scottish Staghounds, known today as Scottish Deerhounds.  Continue reading

Old Yeller Played by Spike, a Lab/Mastiff Mix

Old Yeller
Old Yeller, or the dog that played Old Yeller, was a homeless dog found in a shelter… ... Continue reading »

A Newfoundland in the White House with President Buchanan

Newfoundland
The Newfoundland that had the run of the White House from 1857-1861 was the beloved pet of our… ... Continue reading »

First War Dog to Carry Messages in World War I

war dog
The first war dog to carry messages for the Allies in World War I was a Belgian… ... Continue reading »

The German Shepherd: From Sheep Dog to Dog of Many Skills

German shepherd
The German shepherd is known today as a handsome, well-built dog with high intelligence and strong loyalty. … ... Continue reading »

Diabetic Alert Dog Permits Teacher to Live Normally

Diabetic Alert Dog
Ija is a trained service dog (diabetic alert dog) who signals her owner when blood glucose… ... Continue reading »

National Mutt Day Advocates for Mixed Breed Shelter Dogs

mixed breed dog
National Mutt Day, celebrated on July 31, was created by animal advocate, author, and editor Colleen Paige to raise awareness of the ... 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 August 26, 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game was broadcast in New York. The game was between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Few people owned televisions at that time, but the industry was showcasing television as a product at the New York World’s Fair of that year.  They felt a televised baseball game would promote interest, and it did.  Today televised sports is a multi-billion dollar industry.

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