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Fox News reports that Walmart is donating a door from Sam Walton’s first Arkansas outpost - a Ben Franklin store in Newport - to Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

According to the story, there are very few artifacts existing from those early days of the company.

“We had absolutely no artifacts, nothing from that store because nobody held onto them,” says Alan Dranow, the director of the Walmart Museum. “Nobody knew that Walmart was going to be what Walmart became or that Sam was going to become what he became.”

The story goes on:

"Enter the doors from the very first Ben Franklin store.

"According to Dranow, the doors were kept for decades in a warehouse by Gene Ivy, co-owner of the Arkansas-based contractor Ivy Brothers Construction. The company was charged with renovating Walton’s first store in Newport in the 1960s-- and the original doors have been kept in storage since then.

Ivy kept the doors in his garage after he retired. When he died in 2014, one of his grandchildren contacted a Walmart employee about what to do with salvaged store relics. The Walmart Museum, which first opened in 1990 as the Walmart Visitor Center, was more than happy to take in the prized store relics this summer ... One door will live in Bentonville, and a second will soon be relocated to a place where millions of Americans can take in a bit of Walmart history every year-- the National Museum of American History in the nation’s capital."

The irony is that the doors - which are not in great shape - cannot be shipped to Washington in a Walmart truck. Rather, they have to go via an art shipper.
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