12 Things You Might Not Know About the Walmart Museum

By Alan Dranow
May 18, 2015
Old Walmart Buttons at the Walmart Museum

Even the most frequent visitor to The Walmart Museum during our 25th anniversary this month can’t know everything there is to know. Whether you make a trip there often or never have, here’s some trivia about the historic museum that shares the history of Walmart.

1. Teeth marks from Ol’ Roy, Sam Walton’s dog, can be seen on the steering wheel of Sam’s pickup on display in the museum.

2. The galleries of the museum were designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, who also did the Clinton Presidential Center, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Newseum, and many other top museums.

3. The painting in Sam’s office does not hang straight despite numerous attempts at adjusting it. It was, by the way, hanging crooked on the day Sam left his office for the last time.

4. A sparrow once made its way into Sam’s hermetically sealed office exhibit. All vents, filters, joints, and fittings were inspected and found to be in museum-quality condition: airtight with no damage.

5. In 2014, former President George W. Bush came by the museum for a meeting.  He had visited once before years earlier.

6. The flowers in the exhibit case displaying Helen Walton’s wedding dress are changed every Feb. 14 to honor Sam and Helen’s marriage. (They were married on Valentine's Day.)

7. Since 1990, approximately 2 million people have visited the museum. The visitor count increased from approximately 60,000 per year to a high of 330,000 last year alone. Each year, approximately 7,000 associates visit the Museum during the four days of Shareholders week.

8. In 2014, The Walmart Museum’s Spark Café served 12,417 gallons of ice cream – that’s 529,792 scoops! 46,720 of those scoops were Spark Cream ice cream, an exclusive flavor developed just for The Walmart Museum. The Spark Café serves Yarnell’s ice cream, the first brand of ice cream Sam Walton ever sold. His favorite flavor? Butter Pecan.

9. There are 1,807 buttons and lapel pins in our button/lapel pin exhibit, including one that has Doug McMillon’s face covered in ketchup.

10. The original green and red floor tiles still there today in the 5&10 were installed in 1951. Many are slightly mismatched because Sam grabbed an opportunity to save some money by installing the “off” lot. The start of EDLC?

11. The 1979 Ford F150 pickup parked in front of the 5&10 is a replica but is often mistaken for Sam’s actual pickup (which is on display inside the museum gallery). The replica is used for parades, grand openings and special events.
12. During the renovation in 2010, it was discovered that the century-old roof timbers of Walton’s 5&10 needed to be replaced. The timbers were saved and are used to create handcrafted pens often used as awards and gifts by those who purchase them at The Walmart Museum.

Want to learn more about Walmart and The Walmart Museum? Visit WalmartMuseum.com and experience the online version of the birthplace of Walmart.