Sam Walton Centennial Celebration planned at Walmart Museum

by Jennifer Joyner (JJoyner@nwabj.com) 616 views 

Walmart Museum visitors examine Sam Walton's Ford F-150 pickup truck, which he bought new in 1979 and drove until he died in 1992.

Walmart founder Sam Walton — who died April 5, 1992, due to cancer — would turn 100 years old on March 29, and the Walmart Museum in Bentonville has planned a series of events to celebrate the date.

Festivities kicked off March 1, and games, songs, sweet treats and special guests will be on hand at the museum throughout the celebration, according to the museum.

Walmart Museum also has planned a Sam Walton Centennial exhibition for downtown Bentonville’s First Friday event on April 6 at the downtown square. Centennial Alley on the square will celebrate Walton’s legacy, according to the museum.

The celebration also includes a reading April 29 from author Derek Lidow, professor of entrepreneurship at Princeton. He will visit the museum and read passages from his latest book, “Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies.” The book examines entrepreneurship, with Walton being one of Lidow’s main examples.

“I’ve been studying entrepreneurs of all sorts from all over the world, and through my academic evaluation, I came to the very clear conclusion that Sam Walton is the best all-time entrepreneur — for what he created and also how he can serve as role model for others,” Lidow said. “I think too much attention is given to Silicon Valley-type entrepreneurs, when in reality the bedrock entrepreneurs like Sam Walton represent the vast majority of all the value created from startups.”

Walton is a good role model because what he did is replicable and “does not require any special traits,” Lidow said.

Lidow is the first researcher who was granted inside access to the Walmart Museum’s archives, according to the publisher, Diversion Books.

A quote from Walton is featured at the front of the book: “High expectations are the key to everything.”

Each event is free and open to the public.

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