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May 15, 2015 - Seventy-five years ago today, on May 15, 1940, the very first McDonald's Restaurant opened on E Street in San Bernardino, CA.  Our adventure today was to join the party!

Dick and Mac McDonald opened the McDonald's Barbeque Restaurant here in 1940 and later converted it to McDonald's Hamburgers in 1948.  Ray Kroc convinced the brothers to franchise McDonald's and opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines, IL in 1955.  In 1961 the brothers sold Kroc the rights to McDonald's, netting them each one million dollars.  The rest is history.

Here's the original menu from the 1940 McDonald's Barbeque Restaurant.

Look at all of these "Happy Meals" toys.

This museum is called the "Original McDonald's Museum" since the Official McDonald's Museum is located at Ray Kroc's Store #1 in Des Plaines, IL.  There was a "McFeud" between Kroc and the McDonald brothers after the sale of the rights and Kroc opened his McDonald's one block away from the brothers' restaurant, which then was operating as the Big M Restaurant.  The McDonald brothers came up with the two golden arches idea for their second store in Phoenix, AZ, so that innovation was theirs and not Kroc's.

The movie "The Founder," scheduled for release in November 2015, centers around Kroc and how he saw the franchise potential in the McDonald brothers’ fast-food preparation and turned it into a billion-dollar empire.  It stars Michael Keaton and Laura Dern.

We had a great time here today.  It was crowded and a lot of television crews, including the BBC, were covering the event.

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Last modified: September 27, 2017