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

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 »

Skippy: Asta from The Thin Man

In the 1930s, Skippy (Asta) was a huge dog star.  He lifted the hearts of people during the Depression, and everyone loved him. But Skippy... continue »

The Indy 500: Early Start in Racing

The Indianapolis 500 started in 1911. That's only three years after Henry Ford introduced the Model T (1908). The cars in these races were early,... continue »

Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip–New Book Presents Iconic Billboards

In the early days of  rock ‘n’ roll, before MTV and the Internet, iTunes and Spotify, record companies began to gravitate to advertising their musical... continue »

The Story of Toto/Terry

The 1939 film of The Wizard of Oz is memorable for many reasons, and one of them is certainly the presence of Dorothy’s adorable dog,... continue »

Dog Training for the Early Movies

Dog trainer Carl Spitz (1894 –1976) was a German immigrant who made his way to Los Angeles where he founded the Hollywood Dog Training School... continue »

Bullet, the Wonder Dog, from The Roy Rogers Show

For six television seasons (1951-1957) and 100 episodes of The Roy Rogers Show, Bullet, the Wonder Dog, did everything a good dog should do. He... continue »

P.T. Barnum, New Details

In a relatively recent issue of American Snapshots, I wrote a bit about "P.T. Barnum, Promoter Extraordinaire", and shortly after I received an email from... continue »

The Belmont Stakes: The Test of Champions

On Saturday, June 9, Americans will learn whether I’ll Have Another will be a Triple Crown winner when the horse participates in what is the... continue »

A Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

A behind-the-scenes visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (known as TCL Chinese Theatre since 2013) is a not-to-miss opportunity. These tours are sponsored by the Los... continue »

Discovering Hollywood’s Homes of the Stars

Last night I attended an event at the Hollywood Heritage Museum, which is located in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, said to be Hollywood’s Oldest Movie Studio. ... continue »