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

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 »

Olive Ann Mellor Beech (1904-1993), Aviation Industrialist and Pioneer

 First woman to head major aircraft company First—and thus far, the only--woman to receive National Aeronautic Association’s Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy (1980)  Selected by The... continue »

Annie Edson Taylor (1838-1921): American Daredevil

• Sought fame and fortune by taking a plunge over Niagara Falls• First person ever to successfully go over the Falls in a barrel• Used... continue »

Eleanor Roosevelt: Foster Parent for World War II Refugees

Throughout her life, Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was a humanitarian, always finding ways to play an active role in helping others.   She was particularly affected by... continue »

Charles David, Jr. (1917-1943): Selfless Coast Guard Hero of World War II

Enlisted in the military as soon as it was clear the U.S. was entering World War II Worked his way up in the positions open... continue »

In Honor of Presidents Day

Today we celebrate both Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12)  and George Washington's birthday (February 22) on the same weekend, so in honor of both presidents... continue »

Roy Campanella (1921-1993), Negro League Superstar Chosen to Move to Major Leagues

Top National League catcher of his day Second African-American player selected to play in the Major Leagues Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 1969... continue »

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

The California Eagle, a newspaper for black residents of Southern California, was the brain child of John James Neimore (1862-1912). Neimore, a California newcomer, observed... 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 »