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.

Route 66 Opening Celebrated with Mixed-Race Contest

The First International Transcontinental Foot Race was held in the Route 66 RaceUnited States in 1928. The event was organized through the combined efforts of the Route 66 Association and sports promoter, Charles C. Pyle. The purpose was to build interest in the newly opened Route 66—a road that was being described as the “highway that connected the nation.”

For the first time, a series of roads had been created to link the United States from coast to coast. Route 66 itself only ran from the Pacific Ocean to Chicago but once in Illinois, there were several roads that could take travelers east.

Though Route 66 had been proclaimed “open,” it was still rough going for cars. Only one-third of it was paved, and the unpaved sections were barely more than leveled roadway often filled with numerous potholes. There was little signage and no maps at that time, so drivers were understandably nervous about undertaking a cross-country road trip.

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

Lassie became a movie star despite starting life as a spirited, unwanted pup. In 1940 Rudd Weatherwax and his brother, Frank, had just started their own Studio Dog Training School, opting to run their own business rather than continue to work for others.  A man who was having difficulty… Continue reading »

Strongheart was the first dog “movie star” to appear in dramatic roles. The handsome German shepherd was fast and strong; smart and capable and always managed to save the day, thereby setting the stage for Rin-Tin-Tin and all those that followed. The dogs that had preceded Strongheart… Continue reading »

Taco Bell Dog
The Taco Bell dog, Gidget, was a 12-pound Chihuahua that was in the right place at the right time to become a big star. Taco Bell Dog Discovered Sue Chipperton, an animal trainer with Studio Animal Services, a company that provides all types of animals for the entertainment… Continue reading »

Fatty Arbuckle and Luke
Fatty Arbuckle’s dog, Luke, was one of the most talented stars of silent films.  In a day when camera tricks were technologically not possible, Luke is seen jumping from one wall on a building rooftop to another narrow wall across the way. He climbs from… Continue reading »

Delacorte monkeys
The Delacorte Clock in Central Park has been delighting families with its carousel of animals dancing to musical chimes since it was first created in 1965. The musical clock built above the arcade between the main part of the Central Park Zoo and the Children’s Zoo, was… Continue reading »

James Reese Europe
James Reese Europe (1880-1919) was a gifted musician who achieved numerous firsts in bringing African-American musicians and music into the mainstream.  As a conductor and composer, he is credited with bringing ragtime and jazz to European audiences. He enlisted in what was to become the 369th… Continue reading »

This Day in History

On October 16, 1987, On this day in 1987, the world was gripped by an ongoing drama: A little girl, 18-month-old Jessica McClure, was trapped in an abandoned water well in Midland, Texas. She had fallen through an 8-inch opening while playing in the yard of her daycare center. After falling 22 feet down, she became stuck, and no one could reach her. The community came together, pulling in mining experts and extra equipment to dig a parallel shaft in order to then tunnel horizontally to get Jessica out. On the night of October 16, an alert but dirty Baby Jessica was pulled out. The rescue was covered on live television. She is now married and has children of her own.

site by: Deyo Designs
Copyright © 2011-2014 Kate Kelly, America Comes Alive | Site Map
Follow Kate >
Get every new post on America Comes Alive! delivered to your inbox.