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The "American Dream"

The term “American Dream” was coined by successful businessman and historian James Truslow Adams in “The Epic of America," published in 1933.  Addressing “the historic development and philosophic vision of America,”  he wrote:

"That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

Though this ideal wasn’t given a name until 1933, it was inherently realized in the hearts of every American, starting with the first settlers who laid the the foundations of our nation. Follow the “American Dream” through a brief segment of postcard history (the early to mid 20th century) and the events that gave shape and new meaning to it along the way.


Amanda Condry & Jamie White