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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2001 12:00 am

You don't know Jack

At the age of 50, the Jack in the Box is now the oldest fast food operation in

extistance. While its fictional founder and CEO Jack may be a well-known

icon in todays commercial landscape, here are some other Jack facts that

might not be common knowledge:

1951 Robert O. Peterson opened the first Jack in the Box restaurant at 6270

El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego. Jack made his debut on the roof of that

first location while customers ordered 18-cent hamburgers at the drive-through


1960 Jack in the Box opened its first restaurant outside of California with

a location in Phoenix. That same year Petersons Foodmaker, Inc. took over

operations of all Jack in the Box restaurants.

1963 Jack in the Box opens its first locations in Texas, starting with

Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth.

1964 Jack in the Box opens its 100th location.

1966 Jack in the Box has more than 200 locations.

1967 The first Jack in the Box with indoor dining opened.

1969 Jack in the Box becomes the first chain to offer a breakfast sandwich.

1971 The Jumbo Jack is introduced, and Jack Cola is dropped in favor of the

more recognizable Coca-Cola.

1980 Jack, the drive-through icon, is blown-up for a television commercial,

symbolizing the companies transition to more adult tastes.

1993 E. coli 0157:H7 breaks out at some Jack in the Box restaurants in

Washington. The company begins the fast food industrys first comprehensive

food-safety program, which would later be honored as the industrys gold

standard by the U.S. government.

1994 On July 24 the first Jack in the Box opened in Brownsville on 916 N.


1995 In January Jack is reintroduced in the Jacks Back marketing

campaign. Jacks return to commercials proved to be just as explosive as his

exit. This also marked the introduction of the first Jack antenna balls. Jack,

his wife Cricket, son Jack Jr., parents, and legion of antenna balls have all

become commercial successes.

1996 Jack made an unsuccessful though popular run for the White House.

1999 The company that owns Jack in the Box officially changes its name from

Foodmaker, Inc. to Jack in the Box Inc. To mark the occasion, Jack rang the

opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 4, when the companys

ticker symbol changed from FM to JBX. Jack also jumped into the boy-band craze

with the Meaty Cheesy Boys, who now have their own website,

2001 On Jan. 28, Jack introduced the world to his own pro football team,

the Carnivores, who also have their own site, This year also marks the 50th anniversary

of Jack in the Box.

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