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

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 »

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 »