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

War Stories

Harlem Hellfighter Receives Congressional Medal of Honor Posthumously

Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929), who served valiantly as part of the 369th regiment (known as the Harlem Hellfighters) received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously... continue »

Bubble Gum: How Dubble Bubble was Invented

Bubble gum.  Few adults chew it, but all of us surely chewed the delightful pink stuff while growing up:  the sweet smell when unwrapping the... continue »

Why Emancipation Day is Held April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The... continue »

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anti-Slavery Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the... continue »

Mary Pickersgill: Maker of the Star-Spangled Banner

Mary Pickersgill (1776-1857) was a well-regarded flagmaker in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1813 she was approached by U.S. military representatives to make an oversized United States... continue »

James Reese Europe: Bandleader Who Popularized Jazz and Ragtime

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... continue »

Harlem Hellfighters: Black Soldiers in World War I

During World War I the 369th Infantry from Harlem, an all-black military unit, acquired the name “Harlem Hellfighters.”  They were not only fierce, but they... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Hero: Henry Lincoln Johnson

The Harlem Hellfighters were a heroic bunch from the beginning, but this World War I infantry regiment had one man who stood out from all... continue »

“Kilroy Was Here”-A Story from World War II

The words, “Kilroy was here,” alongside a drawing of a long-nosed, bald fellow peering over a fence still pop up occasionally on walls and buildings... continue »

American Inventors: The Stories of Men and Women Who Devise Answers to Vexing Problems

Inventions are the ultimate result of successful problem-solving. But how on earth did people come up with the first ideas for luxuries (and now necessities)... continue »

First War Dog to Carry Messages in World War I

The first war dog to carry messages for the Allies in World War I was a Belgian Sheepdog named Taki. The French military had begun... continue »

The German Shepherd: From Sheep Dog to Dog of Many Skills

The German shepherd is known today as a handsome, well-built dog with high intelligence and strong loyalty.  The breed has been used successfully as a... continue »