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 Dogs

Strongheart: An Action-Adventure Star

Strongheart was the first dog “movie star” to appear in dramatic roles. The handsome German shepherd was fast and strong;... continue »

Dogs Make News

Dogs made the news regularly in times past. Two stories that took place within a couple of years of each other caught my attention: “Dog... continue »

George Tirebiter: USC Mascot

George Tirebiter, a scraggly mutt, had the good sense to wander onto the campus of the University of Southern California in the early 1940s. He... continue »

The Taco Bell Dog: Gidget

The Taco Bell dog, Gidget, was a 12-pound Chihuahua that was in the right place at the right time to become a big star. Taco... 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 »

Bummer and Lazarus: Street Dogs and Friends

Bummer and Lazarus were stray dogs who wandered the streets of San Francisco in the 1860s, begging for handouts and patrolling the area for rats... continue »

WWII War Dog: Lucky, The Family Pet

At the start of World War II, the United States military had no There was no photo of Lucky in the... continue »

Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle’s Dog, Luke

Fatty Arbuckle’s dog, Luke, was one of the most talented stars of silent films.  In a day when camera tricks were technologically not possible, Luke... continue »

A Smart German Shepherd, 1927

A smart German shepherd was brought to public attention in the This is not Fellow but is a German shepherd of... continue »

Dogs of the Titanic: Three Who Survived

The fact that there were dogs traveling on the Titanic with their owners would come as no surprise to anyone who considers it. However, with... continue »

General George Custer and his Many Dogs

General George Custer loved his dogs, and he had many of them.  Throughout much of his military career, a good number of his dogs accompanied... continue »

Old Yeller Played by Spike, a Lab/Mastiff Mix

Old Yeller, or the dog that played Old Yeller, was a homeless dog found in a shelter in Van Nuys, California.  The dog’s real name... continue »