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

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 »

Alice Coachman (1923-2014): First African-American Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal

World-class athlete specializing in the high jump First African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal (1948 in London); paved the way for other young... continue »

Marjorie Stewart Joyner (1896-1994): Inventor of a Permanent Hair-Wave Machine

Invented a permanent wave machine that added curl to straight hair and could be used to straighten curly hair Became national supervisor for more than... continue »

In Honor of Presidents Day

Today we celebrate both Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12)  and George Washington's birthday (February 22) on the same weekend, so in honor of both presidents... continue »

Esther Howland (1828-1904), First in America to Mass Produce Valentines

Even in the age of the Internet, the U.S. Post Office still delivers many, many valentines in mid-February. The mass-production of these cards all began... continue »

Victor Hugo Green (1892-1960), Creator of the Green Book–First Travel Guide for African-Americans

• Created The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for African-Americans that was needed because of Jim Crow laws • Civic leader and postal... continue »

The American Barn: A Disappearing American Icon

When we catch sight of a barn often from a distant highway, the rustic building generally reminds us of what we think of as a... continue »

Will Rogers (1879-1935): His Wisdom Still Applies Today

Will Rogers was a part-Cherokee American who grew up in Indian Territory and began his career in vaudeville doing rope tricks; he went on to... continue »

The True Inventor of Blue Jeans

  No article of clothing better represents America than a pair of denim jeans. The birth of this ubiquitous apparel took place almost 150 years... continue »

The Schoolhouse (or Children’s) Blizzard of 1888

When it comes to snow, those who remember bad storms remember 2011 and then we jump back to 1888. The storm then was really something.... continue »

Before the Rose Bowl There was the Tournament of Roses

What we know as the Rose Bowl Parade dates to 1890 and was conceived by the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena. Members decorated their horse-drawn... continue »

Times Square Ball Drop and the Story Behind this New Year’s Eve Tradition

At one minute before midnight on December 31, 2015, people from around the world will welcome the year 2016 when the sparkling New Year’s Eve... continue »