Illinois History Minutes

April 15 Illinois History Minute


It’s April 15th, and on this day in 1955, a McDonald’s restaurant opened in Des Plaines. It was the first McDonald’s east of the Mississippi, and the first opened by Ray Kroc. He believed the fast-food assembly-line methods of founders Dick and Mac McDonald could be successful anywhere – even though the McDonald Brothers thought Illinois would be too cold. The Des Plaines McDonald’s was demolished in 1984, then rebuilt nearby as a combination restaurant and museum, then closed again due to frequent flooding in 2018.