Datebook: July 2 - First Walmart Opens 50 Years Ago

Jul 2, 2012

Sam Walton began his career at a J.C. Penney store in Iowa. In 1945, he met the owners of a chain of stores called Ben Franklin, and offered him one in Newport Arkansas. While Walton was successful in running the store, he felt he could be more profitable in Bentonville. So, there, he opened a store called "Walton's Five and Dime." It did so well that on this day 50 years ago, he opened a store in Rogers called "Walmart Discount City." And thus, Walmart was born.

Within five years, Walton expanded to 24 stores across Arkansas, and reached $12.6 million in sales. By 1968, he expanded to Missouri and Oklahoma. With smart investing, Walmart grew rapidly in the 1980s, with 1,198 stores by 1987. Its superstores surpassed Toys "R" Us in toy sales by the late 90s. In 2002, Walmart was listed as America's largest corporation. In 2005, Walmart donated $20 million in cash, 1,500 truckloads of merchandise, and food for 100,000 meals to those affected by Hurricane Katrina. There are 8,970 locations with 2.2 million employees, 100 million customers visit Walmart in the US each week, their current annual revenue is nearly $447 billion. It's hard to compete with success.

It’s Monday, July 2

The Purchase Area Master Gardeners Association offers a presentation on daylilies tomorrow evening at 5 as part of the Tool Box Series.  The free session will be held at the McCracken County Extension Service. 

Friday is the deadline to register for a digital photography class, led by Teresa Gemeinhardt.  The class will be held next Tuesday from 6 to 8 at the Hopkinsville Art Guild.  Learn about lighting, managing images, and photo critique.  To register, call (270) 436-2038.

Twilight Theater Productions offers an original show this weekend titled “The Living News 2.0 Supersized for Maximum Strength.”  It’s a comedic look at happenings in the news today.  Dinner begins at 6:30 and the show starts at 8 Friday and Saturday at Kenlake State Resort Park in Aurora.  Make reservations by Wednesday by calling (270) 436-2399.

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