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Stories of America’s Past

Welcome to America Comes Alive!, a site I created to share little-known stories of regular people who made a difference and changed the course of history. Look around and see what inspires you! — Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly

David Ruggles: Overlooked Black Abolitionist

David Ruggles was among the early Black abolitionists and had a strong influence on those who followed. He was thoughtful, aggressive, and unapologetic in all that he undertook. It was … David Ruggles: Overlooked Black Abolitionist Read More »
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auto endurance contest

1909 Transcontinental Automobile Race

Automobile travel in the early 1900s was very difficult. Roads were largely unpaved, maps were few, and cars were for the very rich. Mining heir Robert Guggenheim, 24, loved to … 1909 Transcontinental Automobile Race Read More »
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Chester Nez: Navajo Code Talker & Marine

Chester Nez, a Navajo, was recruited by the Marines in 1942. He was one of 29 Navajos who were brought into the military for the express purpose of creating an … Chester Nez: Navajo Code Talker & Marine Read More »
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First Latino to Earn Medal of Honor Fought In Civil War

Corporal Joseph H. De Castro, 20, distinguished himself at Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge. He was the first Latino to earn the country’s highest military decoration for valor in combat, the … First Latino to Earn Medal of Honor Fought In Civil War Read More »
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Abraham Lincoln’s Dog, Fido

In the 1850s, the Lincoln family acquired a yellow mixed-breed dog they named Fido. Fido often accompanied Lincoln to his Springfield law office or around town on errands. Fido also … Abraham Lincoln’s Dog, Fido Read More »
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On
This
Day

On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Bell taught at a school for the deaf in Boston. During this time, he wondered if speech could be transmitted over wires. Samuel Morse’s telegraph transmitted data—what if wires could carry voice? Bell developed a prototype of a “harmonic telegraph” Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message–”Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”–from Bell to his assistant.

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Part of the inspiration for this site comes from this remark: “People do not want to hear about simple things. They want to hear about great things – simply told.”

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams (1860-1935)
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