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
  • Horace Pippin: Gifted Painter and Harlem Hellfighter

    When it  became clear that the U.S. would enter World War I, Horace Pippin left his job with a moving company in Paterson, New Jersey and enlisted. He was 29 and was placed in the 369th  Colored Infantry Regiment...

    Horace Pippin: Gifted Painter and Harlem Hellfighter Learn More »

  • Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was 25 years old when he and his new wife, Coretta, moved to Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. He was to be pastor of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Less than one year later, Rosa Parks...

    Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott Learn More »

  • Jack Abernathy: Catching Live Wolves Bare-Handed

    Jack Abernathy was a rough-and-tumble Texas cowboy who feared nothing. He achieved fame for devising a method to capture live wolves bare-handed. He then sold them to zoos and entertainment companies around the country.

    Jack Abernathy: Catching Live Wolves Bare-Handed Learn More »

  • Children Teddy Roosevelt Admired

    Teddy Roosevelt had his own sons and daughters whom he loved deeply, but two children, Louis (called Bud) and Temple Abernathy, became his friends while he was in the White House. Roosevelt admired Bud and Temple for living the...

    Children Teddy Roosevelt Admired Learn More »

  • Bugle Calls and the Origin of TAPS

    Communication on a military battlefield or in camp is vital, but before technological advances, spreading information and commands was challenging. Messengers were used to communicate among commanders, but the difficulty was great when informing large groups of men.

    Bugle Calls and the Origin of TAPS Learn More »

  • Women Answered Call in World War I

    In World War I telephone operators were needed in Europe. General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, quickly saw that women—American women–would be better at telephone work than the men. The Signal...

    Women Answered Call in World War I Learn More »

  • Asian Indians Fight for U.S. in World War I

    Nearly a quarter of the men who fought for America in World War I were foreign born, including many Asian Indians who arrived in the U.S. seeking education, a better life, and freedom from British domination of India. It...

    Asian Indians Fight for U.S. in World War I Learn More »

  • Latino Family Opened Door to School Integration in 1940s

    The school desegregation case of Mendez v. Westminster (1947) prepared the way for the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision, yet few people have heard of it. The case concerned an incident in 1943 when a woman took...

    Latino Family Opened Door to School Integration in 1940s Learn More »

  • President H.W. Bush’s Service Dog

    The Bush family has always had dogs and loved them with great devotion. Dogs have always seen them through challenging times. President George H.W. Bush experienced the loss of a lifetime when his wife Barbara died in April 2018....

    President H.W. Bush’s Service Dog 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 »

  • 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 »

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 February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated by rival Black Muslims while giving a speech in NYC. His father, a preacher, was murdered in 1931 by a white supremacist.  Malcolm X became a follower of Elijah Muhammad and advocated black nationalism  and self-defense “by any means necessary.” But by 1964 he had taken a more moderate approach and became influential in the civil rights movement.

If you love what you’re reading, sign up for any of these free mailings:

Who Thought of That?


Learn More »

Heroes & Trailblazers

P.T. Barnum Was Really Something

I have read some stories of P.T. Barnum but over the weekend I came upon one I had not heard… about how he got his... continue »

Route 66 Opening Celebrated with Mixed-Race Contest

The First International Transcontinental Foot Race was held in the United States in 1928. The event was organized through the combined efforts of the Route... 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