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.

During the “Dog Days of Summer,” we examined America’ stories through its dogs. You’ll be amazed by stories about the dogs of 9-11, the first seeing eye dog in the U.S., and how the K-9 corps of World War II was made up of people’s pets.


Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall: Dog Lovers

Both Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall loved dogs. She was

Bogart and Bacall and dogs
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

partial to cocker spaniels and had two of them–one named Droopy and another, Puddle.  Bogart owned several breeds during his lifetime including a Newfoundland terrier, a couple of Scottish terriers, and a Sealyham terrier (a breed that originated in Wales).

Continue reading…


"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


With John Wiesniewski
“Slate saved my life,” is the way John Wiesniewski describes having a service dog like Slate by his side every day. SSD Slate, a black Labrador, is trained as a psychiatric support service dog by Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD), located in Grantville, Pennsylvania. These dogs are often placed… Continue reading »

Grover Cleveland's dogs
Grover Cleveland holds a unique place in American history. He is the only person elected for two non-consecutive terms of the presidency (1885-1889 and 1893-1897). In addition, he was the first Democrat elected after the Civil War. Personally, Cleveland also went through… Continue reading »

Confederate dog
Loyal dogs populated both armies in the Civil War. For every Union dog, there was a Confederate dog taking part in the battles. Like wars before it, the Civil War had no organized canine corps. (The first canine corps for the U.S.… Continue reading »

dog hero
Rags, who became a World War I dog hero, was originally just a stray pup picked up by a couple of American soldiers in July of 1918. James Donovan and George Hickman, part… Continue reading »

Newfoundland and Grant
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) and his wife Julia moved into the White House with four children for what was to become a two-term stay (1869-1877). The eldest son was off at college by 1869 when Grant’s first term… Continue reading »

Rescue dogs
What do you do if you run a dog rescue operation near Los Angeles and want to move to Maine—with the dogs? Maybe you do what David Rosenfelt and his wife, Debbie Myers, did. After spending months puzzling through the challenge of transferring their… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On August 2, 1865, the Confederate crew of the C.S.S. Shenandoah was still on patrol in the waters of the Pacific, ready to take out any Yankee whaling ships. In 1865, there was no way to spread the news quickly or efficiently (no radio, no TV, no newspaper delivery to many locations), so the Shenandoah had no idea the war was over. On August 2, 1865, a British vessel sailed close enough to them to tell them the war was over.

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