Celebrating 100 Years of the American Dream

May 2, 2008

1908 marked the height of the Progressive Era, when men and women in all walks of life were seeking ways to improve the quality of life through planning, efficiency, and the scientific method.

Fashionable businessmen wore bowler hats and high collars with bow ties and carried silver-handled canes. Women’s clothing, not yet liberated by the Roaring Twenties, still reflected the formality and lavishness of the Victorian era.

In Chicago, the Cubs were defending their 1907 World Series championship, and real estate practitioners from around the country were meeting “to unite the real estate men of America.”

Despite a bank panic in 1907, the year 1908 opened on a note of optimism with the first-ever ball dropping in New York’s Times Square. By the end of 1908: The Dow Jones industrial average had jumped nearly 47 percent from its 1907 close. Henry Ford had assembled the first Model T, the car that would change America. The Cubs were once again the reigning champions of baseball. And the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges — today, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® — was established as the preeminent organization for the nation’s real estate professionals.

May 2008 marks the official centennial of the association.

In this issue of REALTOR® magazine, we celebrate the association’s first 100 years with exclusive excerpts from the book The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®: 100 Years in Celebration of the American Dream.Here, you’ll read about the association’s founding, the creation of its code of ethics, and the role NAR has played in promoting homeownership in America for the past 100 years. You’ll also see some wonderful vintage photography and a timeline highlighting memorable events of the past 100 years.