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

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (1894-1975): Trailblazing Comedian

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... continue »

Alice Coachman (1923-2014): First African-American Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal

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... continue »

Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952), First African-American to Win an Oscar

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,... 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 Early Days of Football: Far Removed from the Super Bowl

My grandfather was the quarterback for the University of Colorado in 1917. This photo hangs in our home and never ceases to catch the attention... continue »

Will Rogers (1879-1935): His Wisdom Still Applies Today

Will Rogers was a part-Cherokee American who grew up in Indian Territory and began his career in vaudeville doing rope tricks; he went on to... continue »

Jack LaLanne: Father of The Fitness Movement

January always brings a jump in memberships in gyms and fitness programs, and today Americans flock to CrossFit studios, hot yoga, Pilates, and spin classes... continue »

Think Today’s Game of Football is Tough?

When the Seahawks and the Patriots take the field for the Super Bowl in 2015, their uniforms and protective gear differ markedly from the gear... continue »

Before the Rose Bowl There was the Tournament of Roses

What we know as the Rose Bowl Parade dates to 1890 and was conceived by the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena. Members decorated their horse-drawn... continue »

Stimulating Retail Sales in Stores 100 Years Ago

At holiday time, a special treat for the family often involved a trip downtown (or to the nearest big city) to see the store windows,... continue »

World War II and Hollywood: Participating in the War Effort

During World War II the movie-making business in Los Angeles continued but was changed by the fact that the nation was at war. Like other... continue »