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

Sports, Cars & Other Pastimes

Baseball’s Ceremonial Pitch: Presidential Traditions

“Taft Throws Out Ball” read the headline of The New York Times on April 15, 1910. With that report on an easy toss of a... continue »

Allen Hoskins, Played Farina in Our Gang

Allen Hoskins (1920-1980) was just 14 months old when he was cast... continue »

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Its Origin

Today Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the star of a popular holiday television special and a live stage show. The song, based on the story,... continue »

The Football Huddle: When Was It First Used?

The football huddle came about during the 1890s. This was about 25 years after intercollegiate football began being played in the United States. From the... continue »

Wishbone, Dog TV Star

Wishbone, played by a Jack Russell terrier named Soccer (1988-2001), was the star of his own PBS Children’s Show that aired from 1995-2001. The idea... continue »

Lionel Barrymore: Actor Opened Door for People with Disabilities

Lionel Barrymore ((1878-1954) had a long and successful acting career, primarily playing character... continue »

Baseball Catcher’s Mask: How It Was Invented

In today’s game of baseball, the catcher’s mask is a fundamental piece of equipment. The player positioned behind home... continue »

Dorothy Arzner, First Female Director in Hollywood Studio System

Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) was a Hollywood film director.  A woman director was a rarity in the early days of filmmaking. She directed films from 1926-1943... continue »

Black Jockey Hall of Famer Isaac Burns Murphy

Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-1896) is considered one of the all-time great jockeys in Thoroughbred racing.  He was the first black jockey to be inducted into... continue »

Kenny Washington: Broke Color Line in NFL

Kenny Washington (1918-1971) was the first African American to sign with an NFL team after a 13-year unspoken pact among owners to bar black football... continue »

Scrabble: How It Began

The Scrabble Brand Crossword Game began as the idea of Alfred Mosher Butts (1899-1993), an architect who found himself... continue »

Route 66 Opening Celebrated with Mixed-Race Contest

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... continue »