What more fitting celebration could there be of the 50th birthday of that icon of American culture - McDonald's - than with that other great icon of American culture - the drive-by shooting? No one was hurt when shots were fired outside Macca's at Parramatta Road, Stanmore, in the early hours of Saturday. This, incidentally, is the same Mickey D's where a pivotal scene in Melissa Marchetta's acclaimed 1992 novel, "Looking for Alibrandi", is set, ie, where the central character is almost gang-raped in the car park.
At about the same time that the Stanmore McDonald's was dodging pot shots, McDonald's were doing a live webcast of the opening of their official 50th birthday McDonald's outlet in Chicago. Here is the broadband real video archive of that milestone in world culinary history. Here's the Maccas 50th birthday corporate website.
McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) shares fell 46c or about one and a half per cent on Wall Street on Friday to $30.30, but to be fair, the whole market belly-flopped on Friday. Stay tuned for the webcast of McDonald's Q1 earnings report this Thursday.
The official McDonald's 50th birthday press release can be read on their corporate website, but I'd like to reproduce just one heart-rending paragraph here:
Also recognized at the 50th Anniversary celebration was one of McDonald’s first-ever customers. Glen Volkman of Eau Claire, Wis., then a high school junior, was one of the first customers served at the original McDonald's location in Des Plaines on April 15, 1955, ordering a cheeseburger, French fries and shake for about 80 cents that day. Proud of his unique McDonald's experience, Volkman has followed the success of McDonald's since and attributes McDonald’s global success to ''good food and good people.''
A more pertinent celebration of fifty years of McDonald's came on Friday when The McLibel Two (Helen Steel and Dave Morris) stomped on a 50th birthday cake outside McDonald's Euroheadquarters in Finchley. And here is some viewer reaction to the BBC's screening on Thursday night of the documentary, McLibel.
Footnote: Three days after the opening of the first McDonald's at Des Plaines, Illinois on 15 April 1955, Albert Einstein died.