The Early Years View Exhibit
Sam Walton graduates from the University of Missouri with a B.A. in economics.
Sam Walton begins his career in Des Moines, Iowa, as a management trainee with the J.C. Penney Company.
During World War II, Sam Walton enlists and serves for three years in the Army Intelligence Corps.
Walmart co-founder Bud Walton (Sam's brother) serves as a Navy pilot during World War II on the aircraft carrier USS Manila Bay in the South Pacific.
Family Partnership View Exhibit
Sam Walton and Helen Robson are married on Valentine's Day.
After leaving the Army, Sam Walton opens his first retail store at the age of 27, a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas.
“Saturdays around Bentonville Square were something special. Dad always had something going on … it seemed like we had a circus or carnival going on almost every weekend.”
Bud Walton opens a Ben Franklin variety store in Versailles, Missouri.
By 1949, Sam and Helen have four children: Jim, Rob, John, and Alice.
The Newport store is a huge success and soon becomes the top Ben Franklin franchise in Arkansas. But the building’s owner will not renew Sam’s lease. The Walton family must search for a new location.
By the Numbers
By the end of the 1940s, Sam Walton has just one Ben Franklin variety store, in Newport, Arkansas, doing $250,000 in annual sales.