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

Heroes & Trailblazers

Drive-In Movie Theaters

The concept for the first drive-in movie business originated with one man in the late 1920s. Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. came up with the concept... continue »

Campbell Kids Creator Grace Drayton

The creator of the iconic Campbell Kids was illustrator Grace Drayton (1877-1936), a highly successful artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. The Kids first appeared in 1904... continue »

Ronald Reagan’s Jelly Beans

Ronald Reagan may have had a sweet tooth, but the true reason he began eating jelly beans was because he quit smoking.  Reagan, a former... continue »

Jelly Beans: Candy History

Jelly beans in America probably date to the early 19th century. The first known mention of this candy was in a Boston newspaper in 1861.... continue »

Isabel González and U.S. Citizenship for Puerto Ricans

Isabel González was 20 years old and pregnant in 1902. She was traveling from her home in Puerto Rico to the United States, where the... continue »

Walter Knott: Farmer and Theme Park Pioneer

Walter Knott (1889-1981) is best remembered for creating Knott’s Berry Farm, now a popular amusement park. He deserves to be remembered for many more contributions... continue »

WWI: U.S. Recruits Women Operators

About six months after the U.S. entered World War I, the Signal Corps—the U.S. Communications unit of the Army---put out a call for women telephone... continue »

Alice S. Wells: Among First Policewomen

Alice Stebbins Wells (1873-1957) was among the earliest women hired to work in law enforcement in the United States. She urged passage of a law... continue »

Sarah Keys Evans: Taking a Stand for Civil Rights

Sarah Keys Evans did not intend to take a stand for civil rights in 1952 when she boarded an interstate bus in Trenton, New Jersey.... continue »

Allen Hoskins, Played Farina in Our Gang

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

Dr. May Chinn, Harlem Physician and Cancer Researcher

May Edward Chinn made significant contributions to medicine in both cancer diagnosis and as the only woman doctor in Harlem in the 1920s. Early Life... continue »

Alice Cogswell: Bright Child Who Inspired Education for Deaf in U.S.

Alice Cogswell (1805-1830) was two years old when she suffered “spotted fever” (likely meningitis). She recovered but lost... continue »