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

Poodles Against Hitler: A Canine Unit for World War II

Despite the success that European countries had with the dogs used during World War I, the U.S. government had never proceeded with organizing a canine... continue »

Book on World War II Sheds Light on Combat Stress

In her book, Hidden Legacy of WWII: A Daughter's Journey of Discovery, author Carol Schultz Vento makes the compelling point that most books about World War... continue »

Women in Medicine: Little Known Crusaders Who Have Made a Difference

On March 4, 2014 I was invited to Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, to help them celebrate Women’s History Month.... continue »

Martha Ann Maxwell (1831-1881): Naturalist and Taxidermist

First woman field naturalist to obtain and prepare her own specimens Set a precedent for showing the animals in lifelike poses surrounded by a natural... continue »

Sacagawea: Only Woman to Accompany the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Served as interpreter and symbol of peace to Native Americans whom the Corps of Discovery  encountered on their trip West; Her knowledge of edible plants... continue »

First Female Surgeon in Civil War: Physician Mary Walker

• Volunteered with the Union Army but had to serve as a nurse, not a physician because of her gender; eventually surgeons were so badly... continue »

Guardian of the Manhattan Project: Dorothy Scarritt McKibbin

McKibbin served as the primary contact for people arriving to work on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico After the war, she remained... continue »

Annie Dodge Wauneka (1907-1997): Improved Health Standards for the Navajo People

Worked to bridge gap between native healers and medical doctors in an effort to eradicate tuberculosis among the Navajos Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in... continue »

First Woman Tiger Trainer/Tamer: Mabel Stark (1888-1968)

• Performed with many circuses as a tiger trainer and had the center ring with Ringling Brothers in the early 1920s • Worked with the... continue »

Elizabeth Thorn (1832-1907): Six Months Pregnant and Burying the Dead at Gettysburg

Stepped in to serve as cemetery caretaker since her husband was off fighting for the Union Often referred to as "Angel of Gettysburg" Elizabeth Masser... continue »

Valaida Snow (1904-1956): Jazz Pioneer and “Queen of the Trumpet”

Jazz performer and pioneer Louis Armstrong called her the “second best trumpet player” in the world; Armstrong placed himself first.  Valaida Snow was born into... continue »

Myra Bradwell (1831-1894): Rejected by Bar Assoc. but Builds Legal Publishing Empire

• Refused admission to the bar and the practice of law by the Illinois Supreme Court because of her gender; • Established the Chicago Legal... continue »