Today (November 19) is National Play Monopoly Day. Before you sit down to monopolize all those utilities, railroads and real estate, take a moment to see why the game was invented.

The original Monopoly game concept was developed in 1903 by Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips as an educational tool to illustrate the negative impact of concentrating land in single monopolies. The original name of the game was 'The Landlords Game.' Several variations of the game all with the goal of buying, selling and developing land were also produced.

The Monopoly game as we know it, was developed in 1933 and sold by Parker Brothers beginning in 1935.

Here are some other fun facts about Monopoly.

  • The original Parker Brothers Monopoly game was based on the real city of Atlantic City, New Jersey
  • Marvin Gardens is a misspelling of the real Marven Gardens
  • Short Line is named after the Atlantic City Streetcar line, Shore Fast Line
  • Mediterranean Avenue was originally called Arctic Avenue. The name was changed prior to Parker Brothers producing and distributing the game.
  • The GO square was changed from red to black in 1988
  • The Free Parking Jackpot rule where a player collects the money from fines when they land on the Free Parking block is actually a widely accepted 'house rule' and not a game rule which would have the fines returned to the bank.

Now, get out the board and challenge your friends to a fun game knowing if you win, you own a large chunk of Atlantic City -- from the 1930s, of course.

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