Sam Walton as a college student
As a student at the University of Missouri, Sam Walton joined QEBH, one of the most prestigious honor societies on campus.
[University of Missouri Savitar, 1940. SHS]
After he graduated from high school in 1936, Sam Walton attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in business. To pay for his education, he delivered newspapers, worked as a lifeguard, and waited on tables at the student union. Walton still found time to lead Bible study classes, join a fraternity, and serve as president of a prestigious honor society, QEBH.
After he graduated from the university, Sam Walton received job offers from two of the top retail businesses in America, Sears and J C Penney. He chose J C Penney and began work as a management trainee for $75 a month. He loved working in the retail business and excelled as a salesman.
Bud and basketball team
Bud Walton played basketball as a cadet at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. He is shown seated in the front row, third from the right, number 14.
[Wentworth Military Academy Yearbook, 1939-1940]
Instead of going to college, Bud Walton attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, for two years. In 1941 he volunteered for service in the U.S. Navy as a pilot. While undergoing flight training, Bud met and married his wife, Audrey. Together, the couple had two daughters: Ann and Nancy.
War Bonds Poster
Both Sam and Bud Walton served in the U.S. military during World War Two. This 1942 poster by artist Lawrence Beall Smith is one of hundreds produced to support the war effort.
[Lawrence Beall Smith, U.S. Department of the Treasury. The State Historical Society of Missouri, Art Collection]
When World War II
World War II was a global conflict that began in Europe on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany. War broke out between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allied Powers (Britain, France, and the Soviet Union). Japan invaded China, occupied the Philippines, and seized a number of islands throughout the Pacific, while Germany captured much of Europe and North Africa before invading the Soviet Union. Millions of civilians were killed; Jews were specifically singled out by the Germans for extermination, as were other minorities, such as those who were mentally ill, physically and mentally disabled, homosexual, or members of political and religious groups who opposed the Axis Powers.
The United States provided aid to the Allied Powers but remained neutral until Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The United States then declared war on Japan and, in turn, Germany declared war on the United States. The United States joined the Allied Powers and launched an enormous war effort at home and abroad. On the home front, civilians made important contributions by helping to produce military equipment, supplies, and food in record amounts. American military forces fought in Europe, North Africa, and throughout the Pacific against the Axis Powers. By the end of the war, over twelve million Americans had served in the armed forces.
On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered, bringing an end to the war in Europe. The war in the Pacific continued until the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in early August 1945. The Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945. By the end of the war, over 418,500 American servicemen were killed, and worldwide an estimated thirty-eight million people lost their lives during the war.
broke out, Sam volunteered for military service. As a U.S. Army officer, he oversaw security at aircraft and ammunition plants in the United States. While serving in Oklahoma, he met and married Helen Robson. Together they had four children: Rob, Jim, John, and Alice.