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

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 »

First Rearview Mirror Marketed as “Cop-spotter”

The first widely distributed rearview mirror for automobiles was sold as the “Cop-spotter” by a fellow... continue »

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Its Origin

Today Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the star of a popular holiday television special and a live stage show. The song, based on the story,... continue »

Japanese American WWII Vet Receives Medal of Honor Belatedly

George T. “Joe” Sakato (1921-2015) served in the American infantry during World War II. Like many other Japanese Americans, he faced many obstacles in his... continue »

Ace Pilot Pete Fernandez: Korean War

Ace pilot Pete Fernandez was one of the top fighter pilots in the Korean War, but he almost didn’t see combat. He was so valuable... continue »

Smoky, Yorkshire Terrier and WWII War Dog

Smoky, a four-pound Yorkshire terrier, went to war by happenstance. She was found in New Guinea near... continue »

Grover Cleveland’s Dogs and Other Pets

Grover Cleveland holds a unique place in American history. He is the only person... continue »

Pancho Barnes: Pioneering Aviator and Legendary Woman

Pancho Barnes (1901-1975) was a fearless pilot and aviation pioneer, flying at a time when flight was in its infancy. She went on to work... continue »

Baseball Catcher’s Mask: How It Was Invented

In today’s game of baseball, the catcher’s mask is a fundamental piece of equipment. The player positioned behind home... continue »

Escaped Slave Arthur Crumpler Took Pride in Learning

Arthur Crumpler escaped slavery and overcame the fact that slaves were prevented... continue »

First Animal Shelter in U.S. Due to Caroline Earle White

The first animal shelter in America came about due to the efforts of Caroline Earle White (1833-1916) of Philadelphia. White was also the power behind... continue »

Dorothy Arzner, First Female Director in Hollywood Studio System

Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) was a Hollywood film director.  A woman director was a rarity in the early days of filmmaking. She directed films from 1926-1943... continue »