Levittown history in photos

In 1947, William Levitt of Levitt & Sons began building mass-produced, affordable housing for veterans returning from WWII. Island Trees, or Levittown as it later became known, is widely recognized as the first modern American suburb.

Families started moving into the new homes on Oct. 1, 1947.

While residents of the time were thrilled with the prospects offered to them by Levittown in the hamlet's early years, a line in the original covenant stated that "the tenant agrees not to permit the premises to be used or occupied by any person other than members of the Caucasian race." In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled in Shelley v. Kraemer that racially restrictive covenants were in violation of the 14th Amendment.

Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox.

Sign up

By clicking Sign up, you agree to our privacy policy.


Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy policy.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to Newsday is free for Optimum customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.