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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

The Telephone Operator

The invention of the telephone in 1876 jump-started several new developments: The telephones themselves needed to be further refined. Telephone offices with operating equipment needed to be created so that telephone calls could be made within a community. (Very early telephones were sold in pairs and functioned as a home-to-office…
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Tiffany Designer Clara Driscoll

Louis Comfort Tiffany is perhaps the single most famous artist of all time in the field of decorative arts. During his era, his name was the only one associated with his firm’s design work. But recent information uncovered by a professor and a curator have led to a new understanding:…
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Fudgie the Whale

Tom Carvel: King of Soft-Serve

Tom Carvel was a self-made success story whose name is synonymous with the product he created—soft-serve ice cream. Carvel (1906-1990) was among the early adopters of using a franchise system to grow his business. He was also the first chief executive officer of a company who served as his own…
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Last Battles of the Civil War: Forks Road

The Battle of Forks Road in Wilmington, North Carolina, in February 1865, was one of the closing armed engagements bringing the Civil War to an end. By late 1864 almost all the Confederate supply lines from the Atlantic Ocean had been cut by Union forces. Wilmington was the South’s last…
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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 effective. Among those whom he helped or influenced were some of the biggest names in abolition–Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth.…
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Chester Nez: Navajo Code Talker & Marine

Table of contentsNez ChildhoodMarine RecruiterThe MarinesIdea for CodeCreating the Navajo CodeCode Talker MethodologyTesting the CodeGuadalcanalMessages SentSecret Even on the BattlefieldNez Tour of Duty EndsThe G.I. BillFamily LifeCode Talkers Declassified Chester Nez, a Navajo, was recruited by the Marines in 1942. He was one of 29 Navajos who were brought into…
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On
This
Day

On May 9, 1914, Mother’s Day became an official holiday by President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation.  A holiday to celebrate mothers had been suggested by others in earlier times, and by 1911, some states pronounced their own Mother’s Day. But 1914 was the first time it became a national holiday. In his Mother’s Day proclamation, Wilson stated that the holiday offered a chance to “[publicly express] our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Heroes & Trailblazers

The Telephone Operator

The invention of the telephone in 1876 jump-started several new developments: The telephones themselves needed to be further refined. Telephone offices with operating equipment needed…
Read More
Fudgie the Whale

Tom Carvel: King of Soft-Serve

Tom Carvel was a self-made success story whose name is synonymous with the product he created—soft-serve ice cream. Carvel (1906-1990) was among the early adopters…
Read More


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Recent Stories

The Telephone Operator

The invention of the telephone in 1876 jump-started several new developments: The telephones themselves needed to be further refined. Telephone offices with operating equipment needed…
Read More
Fudgie the Whale

Tom Carvel: King of Soft-Serve

Tom Carvel was a self-made success story whose name is synonymous with the product he created—soft-serve ice cream. Carvel (1906-1990) was among the early adopters…
Read More

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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