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

Entrepreneurs & Inventors

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anti-Slavery Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the... continue »

Mary Pickersgill: Maker of the Star-Spangled Banner

Mary Pickersgill (1776-1857) was a well-regarded flagmaker in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1813 she was approached by U.S. military representatives to make an oversized United States... continue »

Amanda Theodosia Jones, Inventor and Owner of All-Woman Business

Amanda Theodosia Jones (1835-1914) was a multi-talented woman who was a prolific inventor and a frequently published writer.  Her inventions were in two very different... continue »

Alice Huyler Ramsey, First Woman to Drive Across U.S.

In 1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) became the first woman ever to drive from coast-to-coast.  Horatio Nelson Jackson (and his dog, Bud), who had made... continue »

Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of the North Pole

Matthew Henson (1866-1955) was hired by explorer Robert Peary (1856-1920) to be his valet; Peary saw in the young man the potential to be an... continue »

Marie Van Brittan Brown: Home Security System Inventor

Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband, Albert, created an early closed-circuit television system to be used for home monitoring.  That security system was the... continue »

Weekly Reader: An Important Part of Classrooms for Many Years

Several generations of Americans remember Weekly Reader as a source of news in the classroom. The goal of the four- to eight-page weekly paper, which... 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 »

“Kilroy Was Here”-A Story from World War II

The words, “Kilroy was here,” alongside a drawing of a long-nosed, bald fellow peering over a fence still pop up occasionally on walls and buildings... continue »