July 2, 1962: Sam Walton opens his first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas at the age of 44. Sam Walton was no stranger to retail by this time. He worked for the J.C. Penney Company after college, which at that time was a relatively small retailer. After serving in World War II, where he was captain of an intelligence unit in the Army, Sam Walton acquired his first franchise store with help from a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law. He went on to open another five and dime store, which was the inspiration for Walmart. Over a decade later, in 1976, Walmart made an initial public offering with share value at more than $176M at that time, and by 1991, it surpassed competitors and became the country’s largest retailer.
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