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

The Invention of the Polygraph

The lie detector—or polygraph machine--was first created by John Augustus Larson (1892-1965), a part-time employee of the Berkley Police Department who was earning his Ph.D.... continue »

The Story of Cigar Store Indians

In the 19th century many people could not read, so store owners placed carvings of various symbols in front of their shops so passersby knew... continue »

American Inventors: The Stories of Men and Women Who Devise Answers to Vexing Problems

Inventions are the ultimate result of successful problem-solving. But how on earth did people come up with the first ideas for luxuries (and now necessities)... continue »

Carlos Finlay: Cuban Physician Who Solved the Mystery of Yellow Fever And Made the Panama Canal Possible

The cause of yellow fever was identified by Dr. Carlos Finlay (1833-1915), a Cuban physician who was instrumental in reducing the incidence of yellow fever... continue »

The Pledge of Allegiance and How It Has Changed

As the Pledge of Allegiance became more widely accepted after its introduction in 1892, various groups weighed in on the wording.  There have been alterations... continue »

Writing the Pledge of Allegiance

The Pledge of Allegiance is so much a part of the fabric of our country that it is surprising to be... 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 »

Working Dogs Kept Telephone Lines Open on Mount Rainier

Throughout history, working dogs have been important to civilization. The use of sled dogs to keep communications open during winters on Mount Rainier is just... continue »

Gold Rush Dogs Traveled via Shipboard

Dogs were very much a part of the California gold rush.   While it is easy to see how dogs would be brought along by hopeful... continue »

The Clinton Pets, Buddy and Socks

Bill Clinton grew up with dogs, so it was only natural that at some point the Clintons would add a dog to their family.  The... continue »

Roosevelt Dog, Blaze, Makes News

Blaze, a 130-lb. English bullmastiff that Colonel Elliott Roosevelt (1910-1990) acquired in Europe during World War II, needed to get back to the United States. ... continue »

Little Orphan Annie, The Comic Strip

The comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, was created by a young cartoonist by the name of Harold Gray (1894-1968). Gray’s parents both died before he... continue »