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

American Presidents & Their Families

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... continue »

President James Garfield and Dog Veto

President James Garfield (1831-1881) was a well-known and experienced politician when he became president... continue »

The Assassination of President James Garfield

James Garfield of Ohio rose from poverty to become a state legislator, an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, a nine-term U.S.... continue »

Grover Cleveland’s Dogs and Other Pets

Grover Cleveland holds a unique place in American history. He is the only person... continue »

The Newfoundland That Belonged to President Grant’s Family

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) and his wife Julia moved into the White House with... continue »

Thomas Jefferson’s Dogs

Dogs were initially held in poor esteem by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) when he was a young man.  In an era when most landowners kept livestock that... continue »

The Tradition of the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony

Today we think of the ceremonial lighting of the White House Christmas tree as a long-time... continue »

Abraham Lincoln’s Patent: The Only President-Inventor

To read this patent application today is to be transported to a time before the name, Abraham Lincoln, carried such import---before he was the President... continue »

President Taft’s Weight: Keeping the Pounds Off

President William Howard Taft (1857-1930), who served as president from 1909-1913, was a big man.  At about 6 feet tall, his weight fluctuated from 255... continue »

The Presidential Turkey Pardon

While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as... continue »

Mary Lincoln’s Shopping Habits in Perspective

Mary Lincoln’s shopping habits and most other aspects of her life made news once Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) won the presidential election of 1860. Though Lincoln... continue »

A Newfoundland in the White House with President Buchanan

The Newfoundland that had the run of the White House from 1857-1861 was the beloved pet of our 15th president, James Buchanan (1791-1868). The 170-pound... continue »