Published: May 18, 2012

In 1931, Herbert Hoover called the idea of owning one’s own home “a sentiment deep in the heart of our race and of American life.” In this episode, the History Guys search for the roots of that sentiment, and consider how it has played out over time. The image of a deed to a home with a yard and picket fence is at the core of the American Dream, but for many, the housing reality has looked more like a pile of rent receipts and back mortgage payments. Why has the ideal of home ownership been so difficult for so many generations of Americans to attain? Was there ever a Golden Age of home ownership, anyway?