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

Only in the USA

Halloween Mischief Night Preceded Trick or Treating

By the late 1800s, Hallow’s Eve had become a time for mischief-making. Some of the actions taken by young people were relatively harmless, such as... continue »

Halloween Costumes and How They Came About

Who will be first to ring your doorbell on Halloween? A ghost, a witch, a pumpkin with arms, or Minnie Mouse or a Super Mario... continue »

Countdown to Halloween

We are less than a week away from Halloween so over the next few days I'll be sharing with you the stories behind the holiday... continue »

The Crusaders Who Campaigned for Car Safety

In late 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the results of a new seat belt survey. While there are statistical variations by region... continue »

Where Were You on September 11?

Is there any American who doesn't approach September 11th with a feeling of sadness and the thought of, "What will I do? How will I... continue »

Four Thoughts for the Fourth of July

1. We all consider July Fourth to be “our nation’s birthday,” but given the number of steps it took to be a free country, it’s... continue »

Memorial Day: Remembering All Who Have Served, Including Military Dogs

Memorial Day, initially known as Decoration Day, began shortly after the Civil War in the... continue »

What Happened on Terminal Island, Why It Matters and What is at Risk

"If a place doesn't exist, it's hard to tell the story," says Adrian Scott Fine, director of Advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, as we toured Terminal... continue »

Hattie Carnegie (1880-1956), Successful Fashion Entrepreneur

 Made elegant clothing available to wealthy American women  Pioneered concept of head-to-hem stores  Made the Carnegie Look the rage for fashion-conscious women Henrietta Kanengeiser was... continue »

Traveling West in 1854: The Story of an 11-Year-Old Girl and Her Family

We often read stories of families traveling west by wagon train. However, recently I was introduced to a reminiscence of a woman’s childhood journey to... continue »

Groundhog Day: A Long Tradition

The Groundhog Day tradition officially began in America on February 2, 1887. Since that time, the event has taken place at  Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney,... continue »

Looking Back at Lincoln’s Inauguration

Today on President Barack Obama’s second inauguration is a good time to look back at other presidential inaugurations: Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration was held on... continue »