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

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 »

Grace Wisher, African American Helped Make Star Spangled Banner

Grace Wisher, age 13, was an indentured servant in the home of flag maker Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore. Pickersgill, who had taken over the business... continue »

The Triple Nickles: Army’s First Black Paratroopers

The Triple Nickles, as the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was known, were a remarkable, highly-disciplined company of African American paratroopers who paved the way for... continue »

Martin Luther King Jr. on The Declaration of Independence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left us with many inspirational thoughts, so it is never easy to pick just one. However, recently, I came upon... continue »

The Fuller Brush Man

The Fuller Brush man is an iconic part of America’s past.  He became part of popular culture via movies and cartoon characters, and during his... continue »

Animal Photographer Harry Whittier Frees

Harry Whittier Frees (1879-1953) became an animal photographer solely by accident. When Harry was a teen, the Frees family gathered for a birthday celebration. Someone... continue »

Scrabble: How It Began

The Scrabble Brand Crossword Game began as the idea of Alfred Mosher Butts (1899-1993), an architect who found himself... continue »

Borden Dairy: The Beginning

The Borden Dairy company is an extraordinarily old American company. It was started by Gail Borden, Jr. (1801-1874) in the decade before the Civil War.... continue »