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

Entertainment

Allen Hoskins, Played Farina in Our Gang

Allen Hoskins (1920-1980) was just 14 months old when he was cast... continue »

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Its Origin

Today Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the star of a popular holiday television special and a live stage show. The song, based on the story,... continue »

Wishbone, Dog TV Star

Wishbone, played by a Jack Russell terrier named Soccer (1988-2001), was the star of his own PBS Children’s Show that aired from 1995-2001. The idea... continue »

The Dog That Played Lassie

Lassie became a movie star despite starting life as a spirited, unwanted pup. In 1940 Rudd Weatherwax and his brother, Frank, had just started their... continue »

Strongheart: An Action-Adventure Star

Strongheart was the first dog “movie star” to appear in dramatic roles. The handsome German shepherd was fast and strong;... continue »

The Taco Bell Dog: Gidget

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... continue »

The Delacorte Clock in Central Park Zoo

The Delacorte Clock in Central Park has been delighting families with its carousel of animals dancing to musical chimes since it was first created in... continue »

James Reese Europe: Bandleader Who Popularized Jazz and Ragtime

James Reese Europe (1880-1919) was a gifted musician who achieved numerous firsts in bringing African-American musicians and music into the mainstream.  As a conductor and... continue »

Dorothy Dandridge, First African-American Nominated for a Best-Actress Oscar

Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965) was a successful actress and singer. She started performing as a child in local variety shows, and then eventually made a career... continue »

Black America: An 1895 Stage Extravaganza for the North

Black America was the brainchild of Nate Salsbury (1846-1902), the man who was also behind the very successful, long-running Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. In... continue »

Sandy, the Canine Star of Broadway’s Little Orphan Annie

The story of how the first dog who played Sandy in Annie is as dramatic and heartwarming as the story of how little orphan Annie... continue »

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (1894-1975): Trailblazing Comedian

Moms was a first; no previous stand-up female comedian preceded Mabley First woman comedian to be featured at the Apollo Theater (1930s); she went on... continue »