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McDonald's

Anyone who's ever consumed a Shamrock shake and reveled in how it transformed the color of their feces has experienced the alchemy of McDonald's food. But the cuisine is not without its detractors.

Synonymous with mass-marketed crap, McDonald's is generally reviled as lowest common denominator fare. Greasy, salty foodstuffs concocted to satisfy your most unhealthy gastronomic cravings in the maximally-profitable manner. It is cheap, ubiquitous, and marketed to the working class. All of which makes it the perfect target for budding culture snobs.

As such, people commonly bitch that McDonald's is selling "junk food" -- substandard fare, marginally suitable for human consumption -- as if its customers are somehow hypnotized into buying food that doesn't really appeal to them. Which is bullshit. McDonald's delivers a consistent, if somewhat bland, product that competes quite well in the marketplace. If people didn't want Big Macs and french fries, they wouldn't buy them.

Most people who hate McDonald's are really just anti-establishment wannabes. Maybe they were raised by hippie parents, maybe they listened to a lot of punk rock in high school, or maybe they're pretentious jerks. Whatever the issue, these people feel compelled to reject the modern-day corporatocracy, but deep down they know there's no way they could live a whole month without Starbucks or Comedy Central. Rather than admit to themselves their complete and utter dependence upon the evil capitalist system, they draw the line somewhere arbitrary, so they can make a meaningless stand:

FAMISHED: Where you wanna eat?
IDEALIST: Anywhere except McDonald's. They're just -- the food, y'know? Yuck. And the rainforest...
FAMISHED: Burger King, then?
IDEALIST: Sure, whatever.

Feel free to slam McDonald's, but you should resist the urge to blindly rail against their product offerings. Especially when there are plenty of good reasons to oppose the multinational corporation behind them.

First of all, the company can't be trusted to keep its own story straight. Consider the lionization of Ray Kroc. Kroc's business card bore just his name, the golden arches, and the word "Founder." Except that Richard and Maurice McDonald were the actual founders. By the time Ray Kroc entered the picture, the McDonald brothers had already opened eight restaurants. Kroc joined on as their franchise agent. (Ever wonder why it isn't called Kroc's?) But he bought them out six years later for $2.7 million and went on to minimize their role in the official company history.

"Sometimes after reading excerpts from an article on McDonald's, I began to wonder if the McDonald brothers ever had anything to do with the success of McDonald's," observed Richard McDonald. "During the years from the time we first met Ray Kroc in 1954 and hired him in 1955 to be our franchise agent, there was never any mention over the years that Ray was founder of McDonald's. However, after we sold to Ray and his associates, he was elevated to be the founder."

As far as megalomaniacal Ray Kroc was concerned, there was one problem with the buyout arrangement: it allowed the McDonald brothers to maintain ownership of the original McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California at 14th and E Street. So what did Ray Kroc do? First he forced them to change the name of their restaurant (which became "The Big M"). Then he opened a McDonald's franchise as quickly as possible just one block away at 15th and E, purposely driving the McDonald brothers out of business. This event illustrates not only Ray's overweening vanity, but also his single-minded philosophy about competing in the fast food industry:

"It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I'll kill 'em, and I'm going to kill 'em before they kill me. You're talking about the American way -- of survival of the fittest."

  • "McJob" bellyaching.
  • McLibel trial.
  • McDonald Clan and Scottish trademark law.
  • San Ysidro shooting spree.
  • Coffee crotch lawsuit.
  • Beef tallow in veggie french fries.
  • Deforestation.
  • Mad cow.
  • Monopoly game fraud.
  • Canadian poultry shortage resulting from Chicken McNugget craze.
  • The McRib.
  • Mishaps.

Around the world, the McDonald's Corporation serves as a glaring reminder of U.S. hegemony. The restaurants are themselves seen as outposts of American corporate culture. And their relentless encroachment into new regions has caused a huge backlash from globalization foes and people who distrust anything originating in the United States... not to mention legions of vegetarians, environmentalists, labor organizers, wannabe anarchists, and elitist food critics. And so, the fast food chain suffers a relentless onslaught from these forces as well.

But none of that is any reason they deserve your pity. The multinational hamburger empire has repeatedly abused its substantial power, thereby pissing away any claim to moral superiority.

Quotes

"We have found out... that we cannot trust some people who are nonconformists... We will make conformists out of them... The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization."
--Ray Kroc

"Everything went downhill from the moment the McDonald's chain was allowed to invade England."
--Morrissey

"I am in complete solidarity with France's farm-workers, and I detest McDonald's food."
--Jacques Chirac

"The Israeli people are infected with Americanization. We must not be concerned for culture only as culture, but understand what Israeli culture is, and Israeli religion. We must be wary of McDonald's; we must be wary of Michael Jackson; we must be wary of Madonna."
--Israeli President Ezer Weizman, summer 1999

"You people are destroying the rainforests of the world by grazing your cheap cattle. You are cutting down trees to graze your cheap cattle to sell your hamburgers."
--Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Timeline

12 Dec 1948 In Los Angeles, Richard and Maurice McDonald open their first hamburger stand, featuring the "Speedee Service System."
2 Mar 1955 Ray Kroc founds "McDonald's Systems Inc." It is later renamed "McDonald's Corporation" in 1960.
15 Apr 1955 The first McDonald's franchise opens in Des Plaines, a suburb of Chicago. Because it is the first one launched by Ray Kroc, he names it "McDonald's #1" despite the fact that the McDonald brothers had already opened eight of their chain restaurants before they began accepting licensees. Kroc's unfortunate numbering system guarantees perpetual confusion for amateur fast food historians the world over.
1956 McDonald's CFO Harry J. Sonneborn introduces the company to the real estate business by creating a subsidiary called the Franchise Realty Corporation. Looking back on it decades later, Ray Kroc observes: "Harry alone put in the policy that salvaged this company and made it a big-leaguer. His idea is what made McDonald's rich."
1958 100 million McDonald's hamburgers served.
1961 Ray Kroc buys out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million.
1961 500 million McDonald's hamburgers served.
1962 McDonald's launches the Hulaburger: a vegetarian cheeseburger with a large ring of pineapple instead of the meat.
1963 One billion McDonald's hamburgers served.
1967 The first McDonald's outside the United States opens in Richmond, British Columbia.
1970 McDonald's opens in Costa Rica, serving beef from cattle ranches on former rainforest land deforested in the '50s and '60s.
1971 The first Makadonaldo restaurant opens in Japan, inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tokyo.
1971 President of McDonald's Japan, Den Fujita, declares: "The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years." Going further, he says: "If we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde."
1971 Maurice "Mac" McDonald dies.
1972 McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc funnels $250,000 to President Richard M. Nixon in exchange for a 20% reduction in the minimum wage for teenagers.
15 Jan 1973 President Richard M. Nixon gushes in a letter to McDonald's CEO Ray Kroc:
One of the highlights of my sixty-first birthday celebration was when Tricia suggested we needed a "break" on our drive to Palm Springs, and we turned in at McDonald's. I had heard for years from our girls that the "Big Mac" was really something special, and while I've often credited Mrs. Nixon with making the best hamburgers in the world, we are both convinced that McDonald's runs a close second... The next time the cook has a night off we will know where to go for fast service, cheerful hospitality -- and probably one of the best food buys in America.
1974 Twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun.
1975 Stealing an idea from its competitor Wendy's, McDonald's opens its first drive-thru restaurant in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
3 Nov 1982 McDonald's announces a voluntary recall of 10 million Playmobil toys, distributed in Happy Meals in October 1982. The toys posed a potential choking hazard for children under three.
15 Oct 1984 During a campaign stop at a McDonald's restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, President Ronald Reagan asks an aide "What am I supposed to order?"
4 Nov 1985 McDonald's launches the 680-calorie McD.L.T. sandwich. It has a bipartite product package and the advertising slogan: "The hot stay hot, and the cool stays cool."
18 Mar 1986 An internal memo from the marketing department declares: "We can't, at this stage of the situation, really address or defend nutrition. We don't sell nutrition, and people don't come to McDonald's for nutrition."
10 Nov 1986 McDonald's announces a voluntary recall of LEGO toy sets distributed in Happy Meals between October and November 1982. The toys posed a potential choking hazard for children under three.
12 Aug 1988 Mac and Me released in theaters. This horrible, low-budget ripoff of E.T.: The Extraterrestrial was financed by McDonald's and the Coca-Cola Company. It also features Ronald McDonald as himself.
31 Jan 1990 A McDonald's restaurant opens in Pushkin Square, Moscow, making it the first one inside the Soviet Union.
1990 The first Mai Dang Lao restaurant opens in China.
1990 McDonald's restaurants in America switch to 100% vegetable oil to cook its french fries. For the previous 35 years they had used a mixture of 7% cottonseed oil and 93% beef tallow.
1991 McDonald's launches the 320-calorie McLean Deluxe sandwich. It is removed the menu just five years later.
8 May 1992 McDonald's announces a voluntary recall of 8 million Doc DeLorean toys, distributed in "Back to the Future" Happy Meals in April 1992. The rear tires were prone to breaking off and potentially lodging in a child's larynx.
26 Nov 1993 David Letterman mans the McDonald's drive-thru, with hilarious results.
Apr 1994 McDonald's indicates its intent to file suit against a topless sandwich shop in Melbourne, Australia named McTits.
14 Apr 1994 During the McDonald's Biennial Worldwide Convention, chairman Michael Quinlan announces that the company has exceeded 100 billion hamburgers served. He recommends that, from now on, franchisees post "BILLIONS AND BILLIONS SERVED."
23 Mar 1996 McDonald's announces that, due to Mad Cow Disease, it will stop serving British beef in the United Kingdom.
May 1996 With a $200 million marketing campaign, McDonald's launches a sandwich aimed at the Baby Boomers generation: the 560-calorie Arch Deluxe.
1997 Engaging in a price war with its competitors, McDonald's slashes prices. The result? Four months of diminished sales.
28 Jan 1997 Mence Powell is arrested for dealing marijuana out of the drive-thru window at a McDonald's in Monroe, Connecticut.
14 Jul 1997 Richard McDonald dies.
9 Nov 1997 On Meet the Press, President Bill Clinton declares: "It's funny, you know -- I haven't eaten at McDonald's a single time since I've been President." White House spokesman Joe Lockhart later clarifies that the President has enjoyed McDonald's coffee on a number of occasions.
1997 McDonald's launches the 810-calorie Big Xtra sandwich, informally nicknamed the "Whopper Stopper." It is removed the menu a little more than two years later.
Mar 1998 McDonald's launches the ill-conceived Made For You program, promising made-to-order meals in just 90 seconds without any heat lamps. The corporation spends $400 million retrofitting its kitchens, whose primary achievement is slower service.
20 Aug 1998 Jennifer Wiebe and Tessa Lowinger convince their coworkers at a McDonald's franchise in Squamish, British Columbia to unionize.
18 Dec 1998 McDonald's opens a french fry stand inside Disneyland, housed inside a covered wagon in Frontierland.
6 Jan 2000 McDonald's employee Remy Millet is fired for having given five cheeseburger tokens to a gypsy woman begging inside the restaurant in Lescure-d'Albigeois, France in November 1999.
2 May 2000 In his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman proposes The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention: any nation with a McDonald's franchise is too economically developed to suffer a war.
6 Sep 2000 In a press conference, representatives of Christian Industrial Council accuse McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong of selling Happy Meals toys made with child labor in Chinese sweatshops.
13 Jan 2001 Italian health officials declares that Cremonini, the exclusive beef supplier to McDonald's in Italy, had a cow suspected as being infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
5 Mar 2001 After three reported injuries, McDonald's announces a voluntary recall of 234,000 "Scooter Bug" toys, distributed in Happy Meals between November 2000 and February 2001. The antennae were prone to breaking off and lodging in a child's larynx.
21 Aug 2001 The FBI arrests Jerome P. Jacobson and seven others suspected of rigging a recent McDonald's promotional game called "Pick Your Prize Monopoly."
27 Dec 2001 The Egyptian government demands the return of two mummies buried under a McDonald's in Tamworth, England.
23 Jan 2002 In France, Ronald McDonald is replaced by French comic book hero Asterix as the McDonald's mascot.
10 Apr 2002 McDonald's employee Stephanie Renee Coleman is arrested in Phenix City, Alabama for leaning over the counter and repeatedly stabbing customer Nelani Walton in the forehead with a ballpoint pen.
8 Aug 2002 Slater Smith, manager of a McDonald's in Tampa, Florida, is arrested for allegedly robbing another McDonald's across town on July 3.
17 Sep 2002 McDonald's announces a voluntary recall of 100,000 bobblehead figurines depicting Chicago Bears players Brian Urlacher and Anthony Thomas, distributed in Happy Meals between August and September 2002. The toys were slathered in poisonous lead paint.
9 Oct 2002 Former President Bill Clinton patronizes a McDonald's restaurant with actor Kevin Spacey in Blackpool, England.
21 Feb 2003 Moody's Investors Service reduces McDonald's long-term bond rating two notches, from Aa3 to A2.
Jun 2003 The 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary includes the term "McJob," which it defines as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement." McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo complains that the definition amounts to "a slap in the face" of 12 million McDonald's employees worldwide. This despite the fact that the Oxford English Dictionary has a much less flattering definition: "An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector."
28 Aug 2003 McDonald's Corporation promotes Ronald McDonald to the newly-formed position of Chief Happiness Officer. According to the company's press release: "Throughout his 40-year career with McDonald's, Ronald has become a magical friend to children of all ages, and has worked tirelessly to make the world a better place."
6 Sep 2003 The Baltimore Sun reports: "American interrogators here have come up with a few new weapons as they try to pry loose the secrets of prisoners captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan. 'It could be cupcakes, it could be Twinkies, it could even be a McDonald's hamburger,' says Warrant Officer James Kluck, who, as the ranking food service officer, helps supply some of the unlikely ammunition. 'Sometimes, they go up on the base and get [the prisoner] a Happy Meal.' A McDonald's Happy Meal? 'Oh, yes, from what I'm told. It's got a toy and everything.'"
4 Nov 2003 Marnita Gordon, assistant manager of a McDonald's in Moore, Oklahoma, is arrested for allegedly conspiring to rob her own restaurant.
9 Dec 2003 Pop singer Pink admits taking LSD while on duty at a Doylestown, Pennsylvania McDonald's: "I would open, because I'd be tripping on acid... and I would say, 'Could I have bathroom duty?' And I would sit in the bathroom and watch the tiles."
19 Apr 2004 McDonald's Chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo dies of a heart attack.

Lawsuits, fines

1990 McDonald's files suit against five members of London Greenpeace over a leaflet they produced in 1986, entitled What's Wrong With McDonald's? The fast food giant drops charges against three of the activists after they issue public apologies, but continue to fight against the remaining two, Dave Morris and Helen Steel. The McLibel case would ultimately become the longest-running court trial in British legal history.
27 Feb 1992 Trying to get the lid off her McDonald's coffee to add cream and sugar, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck accidentally splashes the 180-degree beverage on herself, causing third-degree burns to the thighs, genitals, and buttocks. After skin graft surgery and weeks of recuperation, Liebeck asks McDonald's to turn down the temperature of their coffee and pay $20,000 to defray her hospital bills. McDonald's tells the old lady to fuck off, as they had done for a decade of similar burn claims. Eventually, a jury awards Liebeck $2.9 million in the resulting lawsuit, which immediately triggers a renewed call for legislative tort reform. The judgment is reduced to $680,000 on appeal, after which the case is settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
12 Oct 1992 Mark Hopkins dies from electrocution while working at a McDonald's in Manchester, England.
28 Jun 1994 The McLibel trial begins against Dave Morris and Helen Steel. It will ultimately last three years, making it into the Guinness Book of Records.
1995 McDonald's agrees to pay the federal government $5 million after failing to notify the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of playground injuries involving the Tug-N-Turn.
5 Jul 1995 5-year-old Kagan Akdogan is critically wounded falling 10 feet off the Jungle Gym in the playground of a McDonald's in Istanbul.
Jan 1996 McDonald's threatens to sue Vegan Action over their McVegan t-shirt logo, a parody of the Golden Arches.
15 Feb 1996 Linda Gump breaks her right foot slipping on a McDonald's french fry while leaving the Wal-Mart in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Gump sues Wal-Mart and wins $35,173.22.
Feb 1997 In Perry, Michigan, Raymond Bills drinks a mouthful of bleach that was supposed to be McDonald's iced tea. He later sues for $10,000.
11 Sep 1998 In Menomonie, Wisconsin, Veronica Minor discovers a rolled-up condom in her chicken sandwich.
24 Jul 1997 The British government slaps McDonald's with fines totaling $13,850 for polluting an English waterway.
9 Jun 1999 A McDonald's in Walsgrave, England is shut down by government health inspectors after four hours of serving food with raw sewage on the kitchen floor.
29 Jun 1999 McDonald's agrees to pay the federal government $4 million after failing to notify the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of playground injuries involving the Big Mac Climber.
Oct 1999 Veronica M. Martin suffers a second-degree burn and a permanent scar on her chin when a hot pickle drops from her hamburger. Later she files suit against the franchise, which is ultimately settled.
28 Nov 2000 Katherine Ortega receives a deep-fried chicken head in her meal at a McDonald's franchise in Newport News, Virginia.
Jan 2001 In Hong Kong, Lui Siu-chung loses his lawsuit against a local McDonald's for a bit of paper he claimed to have found in his hash browns. The judge orders Lui to pay the defendant $30,000.
8 Feb 2001 When Stephanie Felty bites into a Chicken McNugget purchased at a McDonald's in Alcoa, Tennessee, a broken hypodermic needle lodges in her jaw.
6 Apr 2001 McDonald's admits that their "vegetarian" french fries contain "a small amount of beef flavoring." A company spokeswoman says: "We use something similar to beef broth, just to enhance the flavor."
May 2001 University student Yazna Llulle is knocked unconscious at a McDonald's in Santiago, Chile when a large sign falls on her head. The only help offered by the restaurant manager is the address of dental clinic, which turns out to be closed.
1 May 2001 On behalf of 16 million vegetarians, a class-action lawsuit is filed in Seattle against McDonald's over the "small amount of beef flavoring" included in its french fries, which the chain had claimed were cooked in "100% vegetable oil."
4 May 2001 Midway through her McDonald's cheeseburger, Jackie Wollenberg notices blood stains on the wrapper. When she confronts the bandaged employee of the Largo, Florida franchise, he reassures her: "I just had a blood test last week, and I'm clean."
19 Jun 2001 In Detroit, 11-year-old Vincent Ingram bites into a McDonald's cheeseburger and notices that it infested with live maggots. He later files a $1 million lawsuit against the restaurant.
Sep 2001 Wendy Robinson lifts the bun off her Big Mac to discover a wad of chewed gum.
Jan 2002 During an argument with a McDonald's employee in West Palm Beach, Florida, customer Carmen Beauchamp is allegedly dragged into the kitchen and repeatedly punched and kicked by two of the workers. She later files suit against the restaurant.
1 Feb 2002 In Panama City Beach, Florida, John O'Hare bites into a tough McDonald's bagel, breaking some teeth and bridgework. He files suit against the franchise a year later.
May 2002 McDonald's sues Italian food critic Edoardo Raspelli over an unfavorable review published in La Stampa. "The ambience was mechanical, the potatoes were obscene and tasting of cardboard, and the bread poor. I found it alienating and vulgar." The chain seeks $24.7 million in damages.
29 May 2002 Two managers of a McDonald's in Utah strip search an 18-year-old female employee, then force her to pose nude and jog naked in front of them. She quits her job the next day and later files suit against the restaurant.
28 Jul 2002 In Sacramento, California, Ta Van Le and his wife Huyen Ta Le bite into some McDonald's Sausage McMuffins with Egg and notice that they are infested with live maggots. The couple later files a $50,000 lawsuit against the restaurant.
18 Nov 2002 In Houston, cancer patient Marcus Long bites into a McDonald's breakfast burrito heavily laden with black pepper. After two weeks of nosebleeds, he decides to file suit against the restaurant.
24 Nov 2002 A woman bites into her apple pie at a McDonald's in Eunice, Louisiana and cuts her lip on the razor blade hidden inside. 18-year-old employee Adam Joseph Fontenot later pleads guilty to shoving razor blades into three apple pies, and receives 5 years in prison.
29 Dec 2002 Sharon Offak, manager of a McDonald's in Painesville, Ohio, allegedly adds liquid hand sanitizer to the coffee before serving patrons their free refills. She is later arrested and charged with contaminating substances for human consumption, a felony.
26 Feb 2003 In Detroit, Joseph Taylor bites into a McDonald's salad at the franchise on Wayne State University campus. To his horror, he discovers an already-chewed piece of gum. Taylor later sues for $25,000.
Apr 2003 While at a McDonald's drive-thru in Ardeer, Australia, Paul Corda allegedly hears employees calling he and his friends "poofters" and "faggots." When he complains to the manager, Corda is offered a free meal coupon. Seven months later, he files suit against the company.
4 Jul 2003 Government authorities shut down a McDonald's and a Burger King near Buenos Aires, Argentina after discovering E. coli bacteria there.
10 Jul 2003 Two sheriff's deputies in Tampa, Florida are hospitalized after eating McDonald's hamburgers laced with broken glass.
19 Oct 2003 While eating a hamburger at a local McDonald's, a Marine stationed at Cherry Point naval base in Havelock, North Carolina is jabbed by the broken tip of a small-gauge hypodermic needle hidden inside the sandwich.
26 Nov 2003 The British government's Advertising Standards Authority bans an ad for McDonald's french fries which claimed: "We peel them, slice them, fry them and that's it." Somehow the company omitted other steps in the process, including par-frying, freezing, and adding sugar and salt.
7 Dec 2003 At a McDonald's in Maryville, Tennessee, Janet Woodby's 6-year-old daughter nearly chokes on a bone fragment allegedly contained inside a chicken McNugget.
15 Jun 2004 The McDonald's Corporation is sued by the family of Cynthia Molino, one of three employees killed in May 2002 when Frank Nastasi crashed his Cadillac into a company-owned (non-franchise) restaurant in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey. McDonald's apparently refused to honor Molino's life insurance policy, claiming that she was ineligible for death benefits -- because the two-year veteran had recently been promoted to manager and was still within her probationary period.

Protests

16 Oct 1985 First annual International Day of Action Against McDonald's.
1990 Phil Sokolof runs a full-page ads in major newspapers proclaiming: "McDonald's, Your Hamburgers Have Too Much Fat!"
28 Jun 1994 McLibel trial begins.
20 Mar 1996 The Animal Rights Direct Action Coalition dumps a 600-pound cow carcass in the middle of a McDonald's drive-thru in Huntington Beach, California.
15 Feb 1997 The Animal Liberation Front spreads butyric acid inside a Troy, Michigan McDonald's and spray paints "McShit, McMurder, McDeath" on the bathroom walls.
16 Aug 1997 The Animal Liberation Front burns down a McDonald's in West Jordan, Utah.
5 Mar 1998 Using a Harley Davidson Cobra lock, college student Jennifer Beatty attaches herself to the metal gate outside the McDonald's Student Center at Morain Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois. For her act of disobedience, Beatty is arrested and expelled.
12 Aug 1999 In Millau, France, Jose Bove uses tractors to tear a portion of the roof off a McDonald's under construction. He also paints the slogan: "McDo Dehors, Gardons le Roquefort" -- McDonald's Get Out, Let's Keep the Roquefort. (It rhymes in French.)
31 Aug 1999 The Animal Liberation Front burns down a McDonald's in Fulton County, Georgia.
Oct 1999 In a press release, PETA declares this "Slam McDonald's Month."
3 Apr 2000 PETA demonstrators burn a McDonald's flag on the steps of the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah.
16 Oct 2000 Protesters in 20 Italian cities splatter McDonald's windows with blood and hurl raw meat at police.
24 Feb 2001 In Paris, protesters hurl stink bombs at 20 McDonald's restaurants.
4 May 2001 Hindu protesters hurl wet cow dung at a McDonald's in Thane, India.
Jun 2001 During an assembly at Stonington High School sponsored by McDonald's, 15-year-old Tristan Kading antagonizes his school officials. "She asked me about myself, and I said I hate large corporations like McDonald's," he said. "She said that won't get you a job at McDonald's."
Jul 2001 Vandals set fires at seven McDonald's in Montreal.
8 Sep 2001 The Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front jointly burn down a McDonald's in Tucson, Arizona.
May 2002 McDonald's sues Italian food critic Edoardo Raspelli over an unfavorable review published in La Stampa. "The ambience was mechanical, the potatoes were obscene and tasting of cardboard, and the bread poor. I found it alienating and vulgar." The chain seeks $24.7 million in damages.
7 Nov 2002 A McDonald's under construction in Voreppe, France suspiciously burns down less than a month prior to its grand opening.
3 Mar 2003 A McDonald's franchise in Chico, California is vandalized with "MEAT IS MURDER" and "ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT" in red spray paint. Beneath the graffiti sit two unlit molotov cocktails.
21 Jun 2003 Protesters in Thessaloniki, Greece set fire to a local McDonald's with molotov cocktails.
16 Oct 2003 Police in Cardiff, Wales arrest three protesters outside a McDonald's and beat the shit out of them.

Senseless violence

18 Jul 1984 James Oliver Huberty opens fire at a San Ysidro McDonald's, leaving 20 dead and 16 wounded. He held off police for an hour, sometimes taking time to finish off victims already wounded. A witness reported Huberty, a recently dismissed security guard, as saying that he'd "killed many people in Vietnam and wanted to kill more."
26 Sep 1984 A work crew destroys the San Ysidro McDonald's. It is later converted into a neighborhood park.
10 Aug 1993 Dion Terres kills two and wounds a third with a .44 Magnum revolver in a Kenosha, Wisconsin McDonald's.
1 Jun 1996 A man with a shotgun in northern Australia shoots up a house, a police station, and a four SWAT team officers near a McDonald's restaurant.
24 Jun 1996 A university student gives birth in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Tukwila, Washington. She then dumps the baby in a garbage can and cleans up in the McDonald's restroom. The woman is arrested later that day on campus.
Dec 1996 One person is shot to death and two others injured when a former McDonald's goes postal at his old jobsite in Vallejo, California.
27 Feb 1997 Shawn Michael Demers allegedly shoots a mother and child at a McDonald's in Lakeland, Florida.
8 Jun 1997 A mother is shot to death in front of her children outside a McDonald's in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
16 Jun 1997 A 9-year-old girl is shot to death during an armed robbery at a McDonald's in Barstow, California.
Mar 1999 Miguel Cano shoots at Ismael Ramos Jr. inside a Las Vegas McDonald's, accidentally killing bystander Crystal Lee Ledesma.
14 Feb 2000 Three teenagers accidentally set a Houston, Texas McDonalds on fire while trying to cut open its safe with a blowtorch. Two firefighters are killed trying to extinguish the blaze. Allen Jerome Davis, Juan M. Torres, and Pedro Isreal Loredo are later charged with two counts of felony murder.
1 Mar 2000 In Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Ronald Taylor goes on a shooting spree, starting his rampage at an apartment complex, then continuing on to a local Burger King and a McDonald's.
19 Apr 2000 A dynamite bomb explodes at a McDonald's in Dinan, France. One employee is killed by the blast.
28 Jun 2000 Willis Lee, janitor at a McDonald's in Houston, Texas, shoots two armed robbers while they are holding up the restaurant.
5 Jul 2000 Zsolt B. shoots up a McDonald's in Budapest, killing one person and wounding three.
14 Dec 2000 Seven soldiers from Fort Carson allegedly rob a McDonald's in Fountain, Colorado. They are arrested at the base a four hours later.
25 Mar 2001 In Richmond, California, Khante "Kiki" Johnson allegedly stabs her boyfriend in the heart with a steak knife, killing him. Japaicka "Pecka" Colon had returned from McDonald's with a ham, egg, and cheese bagel and coffee instead of the two sausage McMuffins and orange juice she requested.
9 May 2001 A 23-year-old man is shot to death outside a McDonald's in San Francisco.
10 May 2001 A 50-year-old woman is shot to death outside a McDonald's in St. Petersburg, Florida.
28 May 2001 After receiving some cold french fries, a disgruntled customer in Orlando, Florida shoots out the front window of the responsible McDonald's with a BB gun.
6 Jun 2001 Employee Genoveva Velasquez is shot five times in the McDonald's parking lot in Wheaton, Maryland. Her alleged killer, boyfriend Michael Alfonso, is arrested in Mexico three years later.
Sep 2001 A bomb explodes inside an Istanbul McDonald's, injuring one person in the leg.
15 Dec 2001 A suicide bomber strikes a two-story McDonald's in Xi'an, China, killing two and injuring 26.
1 Apr 2002 Students rioting near Cairo University vent their frustration against the local McDonald's franchise.
15 May 2002 Believing it to be empty at 4:20am, Frank Nastasi crashes his Cadillac into a McDonald's restaurant in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey, killing three female employees. Shortly before his excursion, Nastasi sent an email to a friend saying: "John Nash, there is no way to save it, you are right it would take a miracle, think and John Lennon and Yoko, Occam's razor, Catch 22, too imaginable."
14 Jul 2002 In the parking lot of a McDonald's franchise in London, two men are shot and stabbed by a group of black males.
23 Sep 2002 A car bomb explodes in a McDonald's parking lot in Jounieh, Lebanon.
11 Oct 2002 An ammonium nitrate bomb explodes in front of a McDonald's in Vantaa, Finland. The blast kills seven.
19 Oct 2002 A car bomb explodes behind a McDonald's franchise in Moscow, killing one and injuring at least seven.
25 Oct 2002 A pair of deer jumps through the plate glass window at a McDonald's franchise in Washington, D.C., injuring four women.
Nov 2002 A gunman threatens a McDonald's employee at a franchise in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, then sets fire to the restaurant.
5 Dec 2002 A bomb explodes inside a McDonald's in Makassar, Indonesia, killing three.
6 Dec 2002 An explosion at a Bombay McDonald's injures 17. Officials later claim it was just a faulty air conditioner.
1 Feb 2003 Istanbul police manage to defuse a time bomb left inside a two-story suburban McDonald's.
22 Feb 2003 Angry that his take-out order was lacking two hamburgers, Danny Thomas returns to the McDonald's in Portland, Oregon and jabs a ball-point pen into manager Antonio Mapapalangi's left cheekbone. Then Thomas goes to his 1996 Infiniti and uses his Taurus .357 Magnum revolver to fire six rounds into the drive-through window. He later receives a 13-year sentence.
25 Feb 2003 A man tosses an unlit molotov cocktail into a McDonald's in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
22 Mar 2003 A grenade explodes in an empty McDonald's near Athens, Greece.
Apr 2003 The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front sets off a bomb at a McDonald's in Istanbul.
5 Apr 2003 A stick of dynamite explodes in the bathroom of a crowded McDonald's in Beirut, Lebanon, injuring three people. Simultaneously, a car bomb in front of the restaurant malfunctions, breaking only the rear windshield.
23 Apr 2003 At a McDonald's parking lot in Houston, Waynetta Nolan runs down the restaurant manager in a hit-and-run because her request for mayo on her cheeseburger was initially refused. Nolan receives 10 years in prison for the crime.
17 May 2003 At a McDonald's in Germantown, Maryland, Milika L. Hayes allegedly smashes fistfuls of hot fries into the face of a 4-year-old boy after he accidentally brushed against her shirt with his ice cream cone. She is arrested by police and charged with first-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
15 Jun 2003 A bomb explodes at a McDonald's restaurant in Xi'an, China. Xu Yonggang is later arrested and charged with the crime.
Jul 2003 In Muncy, Pennsylvania, McDonald's manager Danielle S. Baum takes a rifle from her truck and kills a feral cat in the parking lot. She later pleads guilty to animal cruelty and pays a $375 fine.
6 Sep 2003 Herbert Butler allegedly kills his wife, then drives a McDonald's in Johns Island, South Carolina and shoots employee Christopher Simmons in the chest.
1 Oct 2003 In the bathroom of Columbus, Ohio McDonald's, Larry T. Scott allegedly shoots Charles Mintun twice in the chest.
18 Oct 2003 During an argument at a McDonald's in the south side of Chicago, an unidentified 27-year-old man brandishes a gun at a female employee. He is later shot by police a few blocks away.
29 Oct 2003 A man walks up to the drive-thru window at an Atlanta McDonald's and shoots employee Carl Goodman three times.
31 Oct 2003 A former employee crashes his car into a McDonald's training center in Amsterdam.
12 Nov 2003 Two men suffer gunshot wounds to the leg in a possibly-gang-related shooting outside a McDonald's in north Minneapolis.
25 Nov 2003 An off-duty Chicago police officer shoots and kills 21-year-old Steven Curry, an unarmed man, outside a McDonald's in Hyde Park.
27 Nov 2003 After kicking out all the employees and customers, Donald Jaworowicz stages an eight-hour armed standoff at a McDonald's in Springville, Utah.
1 Dec 2003 An 18-year-old man sitting in the drive-thru of a Madison, Wisconsin McDonald's is struck by a shotgun blast delivered by a minivan which had pulled alongside him.
5 Dec 2003 60-year-old Mary VanDosen is killed by a runaway vehicle after its driver suffered a seizure and plowed into a McDonald's parking lot in Sturgis, Michigan.
10 Dec 2003 Robert Crawford is shot and killed outside a Phildelphia McDonald's.
13 Dec 2003 Sitting in a McDonald's drive-thru in Mission Hills, California, Sergio Ernesto Reyes is shot dead in his truck waiting for his order.
20 Dec 2003 Caltone Cockrell is arrested for allegedly shooting Zahmall Davis at a McDonald's drive-thru in Madison, Wisconsin.
13 Feb 2004 One man is shot dead during a heated argument in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Riverdale, Maryland.
24 Apr 2004 Around 10pm, Raymond Lewis Young II allegedly shoots two men in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Greenville, South Carolina.
7 May 2004 Sometime before dawn, an alleged auto thief is killed when he crashes his stolen car into the McDonald's drive-thru in Riverdale Park, Maryland.
12 Jun 2004 During his son's birthday party at a McDonald's in Selma, Alabama, Lorenzo Walker allegedly whips out a pistol and fires eight shots, twice wounding his girlfriend's pregnant sister Latoya Powell.
22 Aug 2004 The Tampa Bay Area Bomb Squad safely detonates a pipe bomb discovered earlier that night in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Port Richey, Florida.
14 Oct 2004 Jason Eric Steif is shot to death at a McDonald's in Reading, Pennsylvania while sitting in the drive-thru.
24 Oct 2004 A bomb explodes outside a McDonald's in Trabzon, Turkey, injuring six people.
21 Jan 2005 During an alleged armed robbery at the McDonald's on Paradise Road in Las Vegas, Charles Anthony Walker allegedly shoots to death 49-year-old conventioneer Thomas Latimer.
8 Feb 2005 In Rockford, Illinois an unidentified gunman in a Pontiac four-door drives up to the McDonald's on Auburn Street and fires three shots into a dining-room window. A few diners are injured by shards of glass.
23-May-2006 46-year-old Lanny Barnes is pulled from his green Honda Accord and arrested after allegedly mowing down two adults and three toddlers at a McDonald's parking lot in Covington, Georgia.


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