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. Kate Kelly

Communications

Animal Photographer Harry Whittier Frees

Harry Whittier Frees (1879-1953) became an animal photographer solely by accident. When Harry was a teen, the Frees family gathered for a birthday celebration. Someone... continue »

Elsie the Cow, Borden Marketing Mascot

Elsie the Cow is one of the most famous marketing mascots ever created. She has been more popular than the Pillsbury Doughboy, better than the... continue »

Weekly Reader: An Important Part of Classrooms for Many Years

Several generations of Americans remember Weekly Reader as a source of news in the classroom. The goal of the four- to eight-page weekly paper, which... continue »

“Kilroy Was Here”-A Story from World War II

The words, “Kilroy was here,” alongside a drawing of a long-nosed, bald fellow peering over a fence still pop up occasionally on walls and buildings... continue »

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908-1998): Photographer and Chronicler of African-American Life

Had a true photographer’s eye for capturing people doing everyday things; took more than 80,000 images during his career, mostly of daily life in Pittsburgh... continue »

The Signal Corps: War Communication Before Technology

Today our military has access to many ways to observe the enemy. From unmanned drones that fly reconnaissance missions to satellite imagery and infrared sensors... continue »

How the U.S. Weather Service Began

April showers can bring May flowers but April can also feature snowfall, high winds, heavy rain, and in total contrast--summer-like days.  This is a month... continue »

Comics of the Past: Appreciated on Many Levels

Forty or fifty years ago, parents either tolerated their children reading comic books or outright discouraged it because they "took up time that could be... continue »

Comics Reclaimed for Kids by Kids and Educators

Comics used to be for kids, and nobody really approved of them. Whether the comics were about Archie, Richie Rich, or Batman, no one felt... continue »

Post Office Gave Wings to Aeronautic Progress

"Innovation" and the "United States Postal Service" are not words that we would normally find in the same sentence, but next time you go to... continue »

Why Our 21st Century Keyboards Retain Vestiges of the Past

We punch short messages into iPhones and Blackberries and use touch typing methods to write longer missives on computer keyboards. After two to five years,... continue »

Can You Hear Me Now? The Story Behind the First Cell Phone

Today a mere glitch in cell phone service - say - malfunction of our cell phones is enough to send most Americans into panic mode.... continue »