How Colonel Sanders Made Kentucky Fried Chicken an American Success Story


Colonel Harland Sanders

“Damn! There ain’t a decent place around here to eat!”

The man had a point: It was the early 1930s, and truck drivers, tourists and traveling salesman whose paths through southeastern Kentucky delivered them to North Corbin found little more in the way of welcome than the tire checks and windshield cleanings Harland Sanders offered at his filling station on U.S. Highway 25.

“I’m afraid you’re right,” Sanders replied.

But the complaint took hold. “I got to thinking,” Sanders later recalled. “One thing I always could do was cook.”

Before long, he had covered the floor of his station’s small storage room with linoleum, purchased on credit. He had rolled in the dining room table from the living quarters he and his family occupied behind the station. He had arranged six chairs around the single table. And he had begun serving family-style meals: country ham, mashed potatoes, biscuits and fried chicken.

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