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

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 »

American Inventors: The Stories of Men and Women Who Devise Answers to Vexing Problems

Inventions are the ultimate result of successful problem-solving. But how on earth did people come up with the first ideas for luxuries (and now necessities)... continue »

Carlos Finlay: Cuban Physician Who Solved the Mystery of Yellow Fever And Made the Panama Canal Possible

The cause of yellow fever was identified by Dr. Carlos Finlay (1833-1915), a Cuban physician who was instrumental in reducing the incidence of yellow fever... continue »

The Pledge of Allegiance and How It Has Changed

As the Pledge of Allegiance became more widely accepted after its introduction in 1892, various groups weighed in on the wording.  There have been alterations... continue »

Writing the Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance is so much a part of the fabric of our country that it is surprising to be... continue »