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

Entrepreneurs & Inventors

White Castle Hamburgers: The Story

White Castle holds the title of being the first fast-food restaurant inthe world. Their original hamburger eatery opened in Wichita, BLOOMINGTON,... 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 »

Robert Ripley Brought an Expanded World to Audiences

Robert Ripley (1890-1949) achieved worldwide fame through his "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" column, a wildly popular... continue »

Bubble Gum: How Dubble Bubble was Invented

Bubble gum.  Few adults chew it, but all of us surely chewed the delightful pink stuff while growing up:  the sweet smell when unwrapping the... continue »

Why Emancipation Day is Held April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The... continue »

The Woodcraft Indians: Ernest Thompson Seton, Founder

The Woodcraft Indians organization was an American forerunner of the Boy Scouts. Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946) was its founder.  In forming the Woodcraft Indians in... continue »

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anti-Slavery Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the... continue »

Mary Pickersgill: Maker of the Star-Spangled Banner

Mary Pickersgill (1776-1857) was a well-regarded flagmaker in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1813 she was approached by U.S. military representatives to make an oversized United States... continue »

Amanda Theodosia Jones, Inventor and Owner of All-Woman Business

Amanda Theodosia Jones (1835-1914) was a multi-talented woman who was a prolific inventor and a frequently published writer.  Her inventions were in two very different... continue »

Alice Huyler Ramsey, First Woman to Drive Across U.S.

In 1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) became the first woman ever to drive from coast-to-coast.  Horatio Nelson Jackson (and his dog, Bud), who had made... continue »

Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole

Matthew Henson (1866-1955) was hired by explorer Robert Peary (1856-1920) to be his valet; Peary saw in the young man the potential to be an... continue »

Marie Van Brittan Brown: Home Security System Inventor

Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband, Albert, created an early closed-circuit television system to be used for home monitoring.  That security system was the... continue »