Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum MORE

We’re Lovin’ It

This National Hamburger Day, we’ve got our eyes on two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. In 1954, milkshake machine salesman and Oak Park native Ray Kroc encountered a hamburger stand owned by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald. After convincing them to make him their exclusive franchising agent, Kroc opened the first franchised McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. By 1971, they were opening 500 restaurants all over the world each year. Its headquarters once occupied a sprawling campus in suburban Oak Brook, but just two years ago, the global giant moved its main golden arches to the West Loop. 

Learn about the company’s journey from a humble hamburger stand to an estimated $170 billion company. Read more.

Exterior view of the replica of the first franchised McDonald’s restaurant, Des Plaines, Illinois, March 1, 1989. CHM, ICHi-177074; Mark S. Fitzgerald, photographer

The Encyclopedia of Chicago is no mere collection of fun facts. It is a work of stunning scholarly achievement.” — Tom McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times

Published by the University of Chicago Press, The Encyclopedia of Chicago is the result of a ten-year collaboration between the Newberry Library and the Chicago History Museum. This project brought together hundreds of historians, journalists, and experts on everything from airlines to Zoroastrians to explore all aspects of the rich world of Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area. Explore the Encyclopedia.


Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories