The American prom has come a long way since its inception in the late 1890s. Prom, short for promenade, was first used to describe a simple college ball before gaining momentum and popularity as a high school dance. By the 1950s it had become more of the elaborate event it is today, with its prom courts, fancy cars, and expensive dresses — the glorified pinnacle of adolescence. I love looking at prom pics in old high school yearbooks, which range from awkward to awww. So take a look back with me at proms through the decades!