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.

Pop culture is as American as apple pie. Enjoy the stories behind favorite hobbies, sports, and collectibles.

Old Yeller Played by Spike, a Lab/Mastiff Mix

Old Yeller, or the dog that played Old Yeller, was a homeless dog Old Yellerfound in a shelter in Van Nuys, California.  The dog’s real name was Spike.

Spike almost didn’t get the part in the movie about Old Yeller because everyone thought he was too much of a sweetheart.

The Story of Old Yeller

The 1957 Walt Disney film, Old Yeller, was based on a book of the same name by Frank Gipson. The movie was about a boy and a stray dog in post-Civil War Texas. With the father away on a cattle drive, the two sons, Travis and Arliss, do the best they can to keep up with all the tasks on the family farm. 

Continue reading…

"What can one person do?"
Read some of the stories on this site; you'll see that they revolve around single individuals who worked toward change.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Broadway Tails book
The story of how the first dog who played Sandy in Annie is as dramatic and heartwarming as the story of how little orphan Annie found a home with Daddy Warbucks in the musical version of her story. The story begins with the 1976 staging of Annie… Continue reading »

Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) had no mentors and no background that prepared him for any of the challenges he undertook, but he successfully amassed land in the West at a time when few African-Americans were homesteading; he published his own novels, one… Continue reading »

color Moms Mabley
Moms was a first; no previous stand-up female comedian preceded Mabley First woman comedian to be featured at the Apollo Theater (1930s); she went on to appear there more times than any other performer. Oldest person to have a song on the Top 40 Billboard chart. Her… Continue reading »

Alice Coachman in action
World-class athlete specializing in the high jump First African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal (1948 in London); paved the way for other young women to follow their dreams She formed the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to support and encourage young athletes as well… Continue reading »

Hattie postage stamp
First African-American woman to sing on radio First African-American to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone with the Wind); however, McDaniel was not permitted to attend the movie’s premiere McDaniel has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for her work… Continue reading »

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 His playing career was ended by a car accident, but he inspired others by the way he managed his paralysis Roy Campanella was born in 1921 in… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France to the people of the U.S., was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Grover Cleveland.  In 1892, Ellis Island opened as the chief entry station for immigrants to the United States, and all the new arrivals have been welcomed by the sight of “Lady Liberty.”

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