May 15

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May 15, 1940: First McDonald’s Opens

On this day in 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s Bar-B-Que restaurant in San Bernardino, California. The restaurant, a drive-in with car hop service, was technically the first McDonald’s to open.

The brothers reopened their restaurant in 1948 with a menu more akin to the typical McDonald’s we know and love today. They then signed a franchising deal with Ray Kroc in 1954 and since then, more then 99 billion have been served.

In 1975, McDonald’s created its first drive through in Sierra Vista, Arizona, to accommodate soldiers at nearby Fort Huachuca who weren’t permitted to get out of their car while wearing fatigues. That’s one of the most important milestones to me. Here are my others.

1949: French fries and triple thick milkshakes debut

1961: Hamburger University opens

1968: The Big Mac is introduced

1973: The Quarter Pounder debuts

1979: Happy Meals

1982: The McRib is introduced

1990: McDonald’s opens in Soviet Moscow

For McDonald’s full historical timeline, please click here (Note: it does not mention the McRib).

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