This Day in Pop Culture for May 15

McDonald's sign

1940: McDonald’s is Founded

Before there was Ronald, there was Speedee. With his hamburger-shaped head and chef’s hat, Speedee was representative of Richard and Maurice McDonald’s Speedee Service System at their hamburger stand which opened on this day in 1940. The first location was built in San Bernardino, California. By 1955, there were nine locations and the 9th was owned by Ray Croc who later purchased the chain. It wasn’t until 1961 that the name “McDonald’s” was trademarked. Ronald didn’t enter the scene until 1967 and the term “golden arches” wasn’t part of American vocabulary until 1968. The history of the franchise was featured in the unflattering movie The Founder starring Michael Keaton in 2016.


1928: Plane Crazy

Mickey Mouse first appeared on film at a test screening for the silent Plane Crazy. Most audiences didn’t see the film until it was released as a sound cartoon the year.


1958: ‘Gigi’ Premieres

Directed by Vincent Minnelli, Gigi starred Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier. It won a “Best Picture” Oscar award.


2010: Sail Away

Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail solo around the world non-stop at 16 years of age.


  • 1856: L. Frank Baum (author)

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