America is the land of big innovations, many of which have changed the very fabric of society. Think assembly line, the airplane, plastic and PCs.
"I think America has a notion of exceptionalism," said Walter Isaacson, president of the nonprofit Aspen Institute. "Ever since the very beginning when John Winthrop talked about a shining city on the hill, we were going to stand for something, stand for big ideas but also for audacious dreams."
The United States has the biggest protected area of ocean, the biggest stock exchange, library and the biggest zoo.
The United States also has given birth to Wal-Mart, the world's biggest company, and some of the most daring accomplishments, like landing on the moon.
As the nation reaches for the stars, however, it never stops showing concern for those on Earth. America is the most charitable country in the world and gives away about $300 billion annually.
The country dreams big, too, giving way to some of the world's biggest movie moneymakers. But the dreams go beyond a fantasy world and into reality as the nation lays claim to the biggest collection of Olympic medals.
But of all the huge things America houses, perhaps the one that looms largest for this nation of immigrants is the ideal that started it all.
"You think of the big ideas that America was founded on — this notion of liberty for each individual and tolerance for other people's beliefs," Isaacson said.