Grassy lawns originally became popular to prove a person was wealthy enough to waste land rather than farm on it.
That status symbol no longer applies, since we no longer live in a sustenance farming economy, yet it's still mandated by law all over America.
Back in 17th Century England, the aristocracy was busy converting the old fortified castles of the feudal world into the countryside manor houses of the industrial age.
Aristocrats didn't want anybody to think they might be mere farmers, so instead of crops they planted grass on the most visible parts of their properties.
Thus the plantation home, America's version of the English manor house, inevitably included a prominent grassy lawn.
We have private yards because sometimes children should play backyard football rather than Madden NFL. »