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5 Things That Have Happened in Years of the Goat

Something a little different from the Firework Crazy blog today, so read on and enjoy, especially if you like McDonald’s!
The Year of the Goat, or sometimes called the Year of the Sheep, is about to begin on February 19th.
It’s always great to look back at what has happened in certain years; so we’re going to look at the last five years of the goat. Burgers and space exploration were very popular!

1. The Start of the Burger Chain

McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest fast food chains and it all went big in the Year of the Goat in 1955. Ray Kroc, an American businessman, became interested in the burger chain the McDonald brothers were building, which they had started two years earlier, in 1953, and he decided to offer his services to them.

McDonald's The site of the first McDonald’s, which opened in 1953, two years before the brand grew massively. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia under CC by SA 2.0

Kroc opened his first McDonald’s chain in Des Plaines, Illinois on April 15, 1955. The location became a huge success and the restaurant brought plenty of profit for the business.
Kroc eventually got frustrated with the brothers’ lack of enthusiasm for more stores and ended up buying the company from the brothers in 1961.

2. Space Exploration in Full Swing

By the next Year of the Goat in 1967, space exploration was getting into full swing. The year is full of innovative events, with the Americans and the Soviets fighting for supremacy.
One of the biggest events that year was the launching of the Venera 4 probe, which became the world’s first space probe to enter another planet’s atmosphere, Venus, as well as return data from the mission, giving the Soviets another reason to smile.

venera The Soviet Union’s Venera 4 probe. Public Domain image.

The Americans weren’t far behind, sending their own record-breaking mission to space just a few days later. The Mariner 5 probe was launched towards Venus, providing the world with the first pictures of the planet.

3. Time for Happy Meals

The world became just a little happier during the Year of the Goat in 1979. In June that year, the McDonald’s brand started selling its ‘Happy Meal’ box for children for the first time. The famous box includes food and a little toy, which has ranged from little cars to dolls during the years.
Often movies have been promoted through these, with the first promotional ‘Happy Meal’ promoting the Star Trek movie.

4. Study Labs Transported to Space

The 1991 Year of the Goat was another big year for space exploration. This time it was all about deepening our understanding of space and enhancing the ways we study it.
First, the space shuttle Atlantis took the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory into orbit. This giant telescope enabled scientists at NASA to study the space gamma-rays and x-rays within the whole sky in a continuous fashion.

Compton The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory during deployment from Atlantis. Public Domain image.

A while later, the Columbia shuttle helped take the Spacelab SLS-1 into orbit, which has been a vital part in helping to understand the effects of weightlessness in space for humans, which might help put a man on a successful mission to Mars in a few decades.

5. I’m Lovin’ It

The last Year of the Goat took place in 2003. The year when you could experience a total eclipse of the sun in Antarctica was also the year when McDonald’s changed its international logo. The red square with the lean, yellow letter M was consigned to history.
In September that year, the franchise gave us something else, when they first aired their new slogan “I’m lovin’ it,” a jingle and marketing message that endures to this day.

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