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

Gertrude Käsebier: Enhanced Portrait Photography

Gertrude Käsebier was an American portrait photographer and one of the few professional women in the photography... continue »

Fannie Farmer: Cookbook Author Who Instituted Exact Measuring

Fannie Farmer (1857-1915) became famous as an author of a highly popular cookbook that broke new ground by specifying exact measurements in its recipes. She... continue »

Gordon Parks, Extraordinary Photojournalist

Gordon Parks, best-remembered as a gifted photojournalist, was also an author, composer and film director, achieving remarkable success in each field. His journalistic platform in Life magazine... continue »

Ethel Payne, Ground-Breaking Black Female Journalist

Ethel Payne made a name for herself as a tireless black journalist who was willing to ask tough questions about segregation and civil rights. She... continue »

Morrie Turner: Creator of Wee Pals Comic Strip

Morris “Morrie” Turner grew up dreaming of being a cartoonist, yet he knew the profession was dominated by white men. Despite that, Turner went on... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Hero: Henry Lincoln Johnson

The Harlem Hellfighters were a heroic bunch from the beginning, but this World War I infantry regiment had one man who stood out from all... continue »

The Tradition of the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony

Today we think of the ceremonial lighting of the White House Christmas tree as a long-time... continue »

Abraham Lincoln’s Patent: The Only President-Inventor

To read this patent application today is to be transported to a time before the name, Abraham Lincoln, carried such import---before he was the President... continue »

President Taft’s Weight: Keeping the Pounds Off

President William Howard Taft (1857-1930), who served as president from 1909-1913, was a big man.  At about 6 feet tall, his weight fluctuated from 255... continue »

The Presidential Turkey Pardon

While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as... continue »

Jay Silverheels, Played Tonto in The Lone Ranger

Jay Silverheels (1912-1980) is best-remembered for his role as Tonto in The Lone Ranger, an ABC television program that ran for 221 episodes (1949-1957). Silverheels... continue »

Mary Lincoln’s Shopping Habits in Perspective

Mary Lincoln’s shopping habits and most other aspects of her life made news once Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) won the presidential election of 1860. Though Lincoln... continue »