fbpx



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
  • Zachary Taylor’s White House Pet–a Horse

    Zachary Taylor, a well-known war hero, arrived in Washington, D.C. to be President of the United States in 1849 after serving for many years in the military. He fought in the War of 1812, the Second Seminole War (Florida),...

    Zachary Taylor’s White House Pet–a Horse Learn More »

  • Presidential Trivia- 10 Interesting Facts

    Eight presidents have been left-handed: Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Harry S. Truman, Herbert Hoover, James Garfield, and Grover Cleveland. Because using one’s left hand was actively discouraged until recently, there may have...

    Presidential Trivia- 10 Interesting Facts Learn More »

  • How Jumbo Joined the Circus

    Jumbo the elephant was identified as a possible “get” for the Barnum & Bailey circus in 1882 by a circus scout who found the elephant at the London Zoo. After learning of the elephant, James Bailey sent the man...

    How Jumbo Joined the Circus Learn More »

  • Sculptor of Rushmore Gutzon Borglum

    Mount Rushmore towers commandingly over the Black Hills of South Dakota, beckoning visitors to come closer to see in detail the four faces of the U.S. presidents carved into the mountainside. The carvings themselves are so much a part...

    Sculptor of Rushmore Gutzon Borglum Learn More »

  • Isabella Greenway: Entrepreneur and Congresswoman

    Isabella Greenway (1886-1953) was the first woman to represent Arizona in Congress (1933-1936) at a time when Arizona had only a single representative to the House of Representatives. A lifelong association with Teddy Roosevelt brought her into politics. Before...

    Isabella Greenway: Entrepreneur and Congresswoman Learn More »

  • Race of Mercy to Nome, Alaska, 1925

    The “race of mercy” was a daring and difficult trip to deliver medicine to Nome, Alaska in 1925. High numbers of children in Nome were suffering from diphtheria. Because the town was so remote, there was no good way...

    Race of Mercy to Nome, Alaska, 1925 Learn More »

  • Barbara Jordan, Congresswoman and Trailblazer

    Barbara Jordan (1936-96) was a dynamic and forceful African American from Texas who made great strides for American citizens. She exhibited a positive outlook, great intelligence, a good sense of humor, and had an uncanny ability to fully engage...

    Barbara Jordan, Congresswoman and Trailblazer Learn More »

  • Louis Armstrong’s Childhood

    Louis Armstrong was one of the finest jazz musicians in the world. His work broke ground for a new style of popular American music for which he received worldwide acclaim. A virtuoso on trumpet, Louis Armstrong developed a performance...

    Louis Armstrong’s Childhood Learn More »

  • P.T. Barnum’s Early Career

    P.T. Barnum is remembered as a circus impresario and a huckster. Both those memories do him a disservice. He had a long and varied career prior to entering the circus business at the age of 67. And while he...

    P.T. Barnum’s Early Career Learn More »

  • Final Evacuation of Saigon Signaled by Song “White Christmas”

    By April 1975—after almost twenty years fighting in Vietnam–the United States began its pull-out. That winter the North Vietnamese pushed the South Vietnamese back forcefully and definitively. The Americans knew that it was over. They needed to pull out...

    Final Evacuation of Saigon Signaled by Song “White Christmas” Learn More »

  • Ronald Reagan’s Jelly Beans

    Ronald Reagan may have had a sweet tooth, but the true reason he began eating jelly beans was because he quit smoking.  Reagan, a former actor, was well-known for Chesterfield cigarette ads from the 1940s and ‘50s, but it...

    Ronald Reagan’s Jelly Beans Learn More »

  • Sarah Keys Evans: Taking a Stand for Civil Rights

    Sarah Keys Evans did not intend to take a stand for civil rights in 1952 when she boarded an interstate bus in Trenton, New Jersey. She was on leave from Fort Dix where she served in the Women’s Army...

    Sarah Keys Evans: Taking a Stand for Civil Rights Learn More »

  • The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

    The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was an all-female black military unit created in 1944. These women are among the unsung heroes of World War II. The work they accomplished—hand-processing warehouses-full of undelivered mail–brought comfort to countless American soldiers...

    The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Learn More »

  • Buster Brown Shoes and Mary Janes

    “I’m Buster Brown, and I live in a shoe. That’s my dog, Tige, and he lives there, too,” went the jingle for Buster Brown shoes. The Brown Shoe Company began in 1878 as a partnership among three St. Louis...

    Buster Brown Shoes and Mary Janes Learn More »

  • Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House

    Mar-a-Lago, now owned by presidential candidate Donald Trump, was built by Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) in the 1920s.

    Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House Learn More »

Topics At America Comes Alive



Part of the inspiration for this site comes from a remark made by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams (1860-1935)
"People do not want to hear about simple things. They want to hear about great things - simply told."

On
This
Day

On June 23, 1972, Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 became law, thereby outlawing gender discrimination. Any school that receives any federal money from the elementary to university level–in short, nearly all schools–must provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including athletics. Here's the story of the woman who pressed for passage of the new law: Patsy Takemoto Mink.
If you love what you’re reading, sign up for any of these free mailings:

Who Thought of That?


The drunkometer was invented by Dr. Rolla N. Harger followed by the Breathalyzer by Robert Borkenstein

Learn More »

Heroes & Trailblazers

The Schoolhouse (or Children’s) Blizzard of 1888

Imagine being caught in a blinding snowstorm on the Great Plains with fierce winds sweeping across the hills and valleys and heavy snow blurring out... continue »

George Washington Carver (ca. 1865-1943), Internationally Known Scientist and Educator

Developed crop-rotation methods which changed the nature of agriculture; Discovered multiple different uses for crops such as the peanut; the peanut plant enriches the soil... continue »
.
What can one person do? Read some of the stories on this site; you'll see that they revolve around single individuals who worked toward change.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead