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

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 »

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 »

The Tradition of the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony

Today we think of the ceremonial lighting of the White House Christmas tree as a long-time... continue »

Abraham Lincoln’s Patent: The Only President-Inventor

To read this patent application today is to be transported to a time before the name, Abraham Lincoln, carried such import---before he was the President... continue »

President Taft’s Weight: Keeping the Pounds Off

President William Howard Taft (1857-1930), who served as president from 1909-1913, was a big man.  At about 6 feet tall, his weight fluctuated from 255... continue »

The Presidential Turkey Pardon

While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as... 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 »

The Invention of the Polygraph

The lie detector—or polygraph machine--was first created by John Augustus Larson (1892-1965), a part-time employee of the Berkley Police Department who was earning his Ph.D.... continue »

The Story of Cigar Store Indians

In the 19th century many people could not read, so store owners placed carvings of various symbols in front of their shops so passersby knew... continue »