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

Eddie Anderson (1905-1977): Created Role of Rochester

• First African American to have a regular role on a nationwide radio--and then television--program • Though the character of Rochester was a valet, Anderson,... continue »

The California Eagle: A Newspaper for a Black Readership That Was Ahead of Its Time

John James Neimore, a California newcomer, observed other black settlers arriving in the West, and like him, they were in need of information on housing... continue »

Worcy Crawford (1917-2010), Civil Rights Hero

• Crawford was one of many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement • Crawford Bus Company served the black community at vital times •... continue »

Will Rogers (1879-1935): His Wisdom Still Applies Today

Will Rogers was a part-Cherokee American who grew up in Indian Territory and began his career in vaudeville doing rope tricks; he went on to... continue »

Jack LaLanne: Father of The Fitness Movement

January always brings a jump in memberships in gyms and fitness programs, and today Americans flock to CrossFit studios, hot yoga, Pilates, and spin classes... continue »

Martin Luther King, Jr: Thoughts To Live By

This weekend we mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who changed America, and was only 39 when he was killed for... continue »

The Schoolhouse (or Children’s) Blizzard of 1888

When it comes to snow, those who remember bad storms remember 2011 and then we jump back to 1888. The storm then was really something.... continue »

The Woman Behind the Salvation Army Bell Ringers

 This year, 2013, I was pleasantly surprised to walk through midtown Manhattan and note the Salvation Army bell ringers have transformed themselves with the times.... continue »

The Inventors of Crayons: Binney & Smith

Binney & Smith was an outgrowth of a company begun in Peekskill, New York, in 1864 by Joseph W. Binney, the father of the man... continue »

World War II and Hollywood: Participating in the War Effort

During World War II the movie-making business in Los Angeles continued but was changed by the fact that the nation was at war. Like other... continue »

How Mail Order Came About

Many of us will be avoiding shopping with holiday crowds by buying online or from catalogs, so this weekend we're taking a look back at... continue »

Thanksgiving and the Presidential Pardon

This week I intended to look back at previous Thanksgiving celebrations in the White House, but I became distracted by other things that I decided... continue »