All of the country’s favorite big-box stores opened in the spring and summer of 1962
There must have been something in the stars in 1962, because the three major big-box discount stores that are still successful opened their doors that year, making 2012 the golden anniversary for all three stores.
We even have a guess about what was in the stars.
Ponder this: Less than a month before the first Kmart opened on March 1, 1962, in Garden City, Michigan, an extremely rare grand conjunction of the classical planets occurred.That means that all five of the planets that are visible to the naked eye – Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury – lined up on the same ellipse with Earth, the sun and the moon. This happens, oh, once every 20,000 years or so.
Coincidence? We think not.
And can it be a coincidence that starting in March, one big box store opened on the first or second day of each second month?
Skeptical? Here’s the timeline to prove it:
February 4-5, 1962: Grand conjunction of the classical planets
March 1, 1962: First Kmart opens in Garden City, Michigan.
May 1, 1962: First Target store opens in Roseville, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.
July 2, 1962: First Walmart opens in Rogers, Arkansas.
While other big retailers, namely Woolco, came and went, the Class of 1962 survives.
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