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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

Heroes & Trailblazers

Water Safety Taught by This Man in 1900s

“Water is a good friend or a deadly enemy," said Wilbert E. Longfellow (1882-1947), a man who invested most of his life in teaching Americans... continue »

Sculptor of Rushmore Gutzon Borglum

Mount Rushmore towers commandingly over the Black Hills of South Dakota, beckoning visitors to come closer to see in detail the four faces of the... continue »

Isabella Greenway: Entrepreneur and Congresswoman

Isabella Greenway (1886-1953) was the first woman to represent Arizona in Congress (1933-1936) at a time when Arizona had only a single representative to the... continue »

Louis Armstrong’s Childhood

Louis Armstrong was one of the finest jazz musicians in the world. His work broke ground for a new style of popular American music for... continue »

P.T. Barnum’s Early Career

P.T. Barnum is remembered as a circus impresario and a huckster. Both those memories do him a disservice. He had a long and varied career... continue »

Final Evacuation of Saigon Signaled by Song “White Christmas”

By April 1975—after almost twenty years fighting in Vietnam--the United States began its pull-out. That winter the North Vietnamese pushed the South Vietnamese back forcefully... continue »

Drive-In Movie Theaters

The concept for the first drive-in movie business originated with one man in the late 1920s. Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. came up with the concept... continue »

Campbell Kids Creator Grace Drayton

The creator of the iconic Campbell Kids was illustrator Grace Drayton (1877-1936), a highly successful artist, illustrator, and cartoonist. The Kids first appeared in 1904... continue »

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 »

Jelly Beans: Candy History

Jelly beans in America probably date to the early 19th century. The first known mention of this candy was in a Boston newspaper in 1861.... continue »

Isabel González and U.S. Citizenship for Puerto Ricans

Isabel González was 20 years old and pregnant in 1902. She was traveling from her home in Puerto Rico to the United States, where the... continue »

Walter Knott: Farmer and Theme Park Pioneer

Walter Knott (1889-1981) is best remembered for creating Knott’s Berry Farm, now a popular amusement park. He deserves to be remembered for many more contributions... continue »