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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

War Stories

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 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 »

The German Shepherd: From Sheep Dog to Dog of Many Skills

The German shepherd is known today as a handsome, well-built dog with high intelligence and strong loyalty.  The breed has been used successfully as a... 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 »

Dog Jack, Mascot and Volunteer for the Union

Jack, a young mastiff, was to become one of the best-known mascots of the Civil War because his story was reported by a reporter with... 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 »

Revolutionary War: The Women Who Should be Remembered

During the Revolutionary War, there were numerous women who heroically stood up for the Patriots’ cause, yet so often the stories we hear take on... continue »

Poodles Against Hitler: A Canine Unit for World War II

Despite the success that European countries had with the dogs used during World War I, the U.S. government had never proceeded with organizing a canine... continue »

First Female Surgeon in Civil War: Physician Mary Walker

• Volunteered with the Union Army but had to serve as a nurse, not a physician because of her gender; eventually surgeons were so badly... continue »