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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

Alice Coachman (1923-2014): First African American Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal

World-class athlete specializing in the high jump First African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal (1948 in London); paved the way for other... continue »

Marjorie Stewart Joyner (1896-1994): Inventor of a Permanent Hair-Wave Machine

Invented a permanent wave machine that added curl to straight hair and could be used to straighten curly hair Became national supervisor for more than... continue »

In Honor of Presidents Day

Today we celebrate both Abraham Lincoln's birthday (February 12)  and George Washington's birthday (February 22) on the same weekend, so in honor of both presidents... continue »

Esther Howland (1828-1904), First in America to Mass Produce Valentines

Valentines need to be held to be appreciated. An e-valentine just isn't the same.  A woman in Massachusetts was the first to develop the concept... continue »

Victor Green Created the Green Book–A Travel Guide for African Americans

• Victor Gruen's Green Book (The Negro Motorist Green Book), was a travel guide for African Americans. It was needed because of Jim Crow laws.... continue »

The American Barn: A Disappearing American Icon

When we catch sight of a barn often from a distant highway, the rustic building generally reminds us of what we think of as a... continue »

Will Rogers (1879-1935): His Wisdom Still Applies Today

Will Rogers was a part-Cherokee American who grew up in Indian Territory and began his career in vaudeville doing rope tricks; he went on to... continue »

The True Inventor of Blue Jeans

  No article of clothing better represents America than a pair of denim jeans. The birth of this ubiquitous apparel took place almost 150 years... continue »

Before the Rose Bowl There was the Tournament of Roses

What we know as the Rose Bowl Parade dates to 1890 and was conceived by the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena. Members decorated their horse-drawn... continue »

Times Square Ball Drop and the Story Behind this New Year’s Eve Tradition

At one minute before midnight on December 31, 2017, people from around the world will welcome the year 2018 when the sparkling New Year’s Eve... continue »

The White House and Holidays Past

Even in the 1920s, the economy had quite an effect on the holidays, starting with changes for the president and his family. In 1928 Herbert... continue »

Santa’s Village: The First Franchised Amusement Park

Children today are much more sophisticated in their entertainment taste than children of the 1950s and ‘60s, but in our culture, the Santa story is... continue »