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

War Stories

WWII War Dog: Lucky, The Family Pet

At the start of World War II, the United States military had no There was no photo of Lucky in the... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Receives Congressional Medal of Honor Posthumously

Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897-1929), who served valiantly as part of the 369th regiment (known as the Harlem Hellfighters) received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously... continue »

Bubble Gum: How Dubble Bubble was Invented

Bubble gum.  Few adults chew it, but all of us surely chewed the delightful pink stuff while growing up:  the sweet smell when unwrapping the... continue »

Why Emancipation Day is Held April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The... continue »

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 »

James Reese Europe: Bandleader Who Popularized Jazz and Ragtime

James Reese Europe (1880-1919) was a gifted musician who achieved numerous firsts in bringing African-American musicians and music into the mainstream.  As a conductor and... continue »

Harlem Hellfighters: Black Soldiers in World War I

During World War I the 369th Infantry from Harlem, an all-black military unit, acquired the name “Harlem Hellfighters.”  They were not only fierce, but they... continue »

Harlem Hellfighter Hero: Henry Lincoln Johnson

The Harlem Hellfighters were a heroic bunch from the beginning, but this World War I infantry regiment had one man who stood out from all... 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 »

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 »

First War Dog to Carry Messages in World War I

The first war dog to carry messages for the Allies in World War I was a Belgian Sheepdog named Taki. The French military began working... continue »