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.

Coast-to-Coast Car Race: 1909

Progress often grows from zany ideas. When we look back at the history of the automobile, we see one of those circumstances.

Robert Guggenheim, a wealthy member of the Guggenheim family, thought it would be great fun to hold a coast-to-coast car race in the United States.  This was a pretty crazy idea for 1909.  There weren’t that many cars in those days so there was no network of roads, and there were few places to buy gasoline. If maps for an area existed, they were vague.

Yet this race—with only five cars entering—was to change the course of automobile sales. Hear the story of how this happened:

"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

Route 66 Race
The First International Transcontinental Foot Race was held in the United 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… Continue reading »

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 »

This Day in History

On December 5, 1945, five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers (Flight 19) took off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 lost radio contact during the mission and never returned. A search-and-rescue flight, the Mariner, was also lost. These two incidents are part of what cemented the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.

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