Watch Now: Why Ayn Rand Came to America

Ayn Rand was born this day — February 2 — in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1905. Twenty-one years later, she escaped the Soviet Union and made the journey to America, never to return. Here is the transcript from a short video describing why:

Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was a teenager when the Soviets first allowed foreign films to be shown in Russian movie theaters. The shots of streets and skylines offered Rand the first precious glimpses of a land that resonated with her vision of the ideal: America.

America, a land dedicated to protecting the freedom of the individual, stood in sharp contrast to the collectivism of communist Russia where she grew up. Rand would eventually escape Russia and immigrate to America, a place where society thrived, and each individual was free to pursue his own live and happiness. She described it as “the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.