McDonald’s is an iconic American establishment. Today, we are taking a look at the history behind it. Richard and Maurice McDonald started their business by opening a hot dog stand in Arcadia, California in the late 1930s. In 1940, they opened a drive-in barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, California that they turned into a burger restaurant eight years later. By 1954, they had sold 21 franchises. Ray Kroc, who they hired to be their franchise agent, helped them launch over 200 additional locations in the 1950s before buying the business from the brothers for $2.7 million in 1961. Ronald McDonald, known then as “the Hamburger-happy clown,” debuted in a commercial in 1963, although the actor was recast a few years later. Happy Meals debuted in 1977 and have included some kind of toy ever since their inception. (Because of this, McDonald’s is actually the world’s largest distributor of toys!) Today, McDonald’s continues to be a massively popular American chain restaurant with a presence all over the globe.