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.


"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


smart German Shepherd
A smart German shepherd was brought to public attention in the 1920s, recognized for the almost unlimited number of commands he could understand.  His owner, Jacob Herbert of Detroit, was a man with… Continue reading »

titanic-dogs-hmed.png__800x600_q85_crop
The fact that there were dogs traveling on the Titanic with their owners would come as no surprise to anyone who considers it. However, with all that has been written about the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, little has been written about the dogs who were passengers. Dedicated research… Continue reading »

Custer and dog
General George Custer loved his dogs, and he had many of them.  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… Continue reading »

Old Yeller
Old Yeller, or the dog that played Old Yeller, was a homeless dog found in a shelter in Van Nuys, California.  The dog’s real name was Spike. Spike almost didn’t get the part in the movie about Old Yeller because everyone thought he was too much of a… Continue reading »

Newfoundland
The Newfoundland that had the run of the White House from 1857-1861 was the beloved pet of our 15th president, James Buchanan (1791-1868). The 170-pound dog, Lara, may have been the one bright spot for Buchanan during what became highly fraught years. James Buchanan had served in Congress for… Continue reading »

war dog
The first war dog to carry messages for the Allies in World War I was a Belgian Sheepdog named Taki. The French military had begun working with Belgian Sheepdogs to train them as messengers for the war, and Taki, the youngest of the dogs to be enlisted into… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On May 23, 1934, notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police. The two were driving a stolen car near Sailes, Louisiana when the police took them down.  Bonnie and Clyde and the rest of their group—known as the Barrow Gang—were responsible for the deaths of at least 13 people.

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