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.

A Hearing Dog Named Heather

hearing dog
Jeanne Glass and Heather

Heather is a hearing dog that has changed the world for owner Jeanne Glass of Long Beach, California.  With Heather by her side at all times, Glass, who is severely hearing impaired, never has to worry about missing a door knock, a doorbell, the alarm clock, a phone call, the kitchen timer, and most important, the smoke alarm or a fire alarm.

Today Jeanne Glass can relax knowing that the two of them—dog and master— are ready for just about anything.

Hearing Loss at Age Eight

When Jeanne Glass was 8, she was with her family on one of their annual camping trips—something they all enjoyed.  Before the trip was over, Jeanne had become ill and had a very high fever. Her family quickly packed up and brought her home to see a doctor.

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

Strongheart was the first dog “movie star” to appear in dramatic roles. The handsome German shepherd was fast and strong; smart and capable and always managed to save the day, thereby setting the stage for Rin-Tin-Tin and all those that followed. The dogs that had preceded Strongheart… Continue reading »

Dogs Make News
Dogs made the news regularly in times past. Two stories that took place within a couple of years of each other caught my attention: “Dog Falls 800 Feet, Lives” ran the headline in The New York Times portrait of a purebred fox terrier sitting on… Continue reading »

George Tirebiter, a scraggly mutt, had the good sense to wander onto the campus of the University of Southern California in the early 1940s. He stayed around long enough that the students decided to make him mascot—a role he played with gusto for about seven years. When Tirebiter arrived,… Continue reading »

Taco Bell Dog
The Taco Bell dog, Gidget, was a 12-pound Chihuahua that was in the right place at the right time to become a big star. Taco Bell Dog Discovered Sue Chipperton, an animal trainer with Studio Animal Services, a company that provides all types of animals for the entertainment… Continue reading »

Jefferson's dog
Dogs were initially held in poor esteem by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) when he was a young man.  In an era when most landowners kept livestock that were important in commerce, dogs were kept for hunting or herding and were probably fed erratically. Communities often… Continue reading »

Bummer and Lazarus
Bummer and Lazarus were stray dogs who wandered the streets of San Francisco in the 1860s, begging for handouts and patrolling the area for rats to kill. They were also good pals who were unified in all they did. Bummer was said to do the biting;… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On August 8, 1988, the Chicago Cubs hosted the first night game in the history of Wrigley Field. The Cubs were one of the last teams resisting playing night games.Evening games had begun in the Major Leagues in 1935 when the leagues found they could attract bigger audiences after work. Finally, on August 8, 1988, the Cubs played the Philadelphia Phillies in the park’s first night game.

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