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At Walgreens, we believe one of the best measures of social responsibility is reflected in how we treat our people and by the opportunities we offer them.

Walgreens the first company to design and build a distribution center where more than 40 percent of the workforce has a physical or cognitive disability.

Walgreens helps hundreds of student-employees attend pharmacy school through their educational assistance programs

Walgreens-We're America's premier pharmacy

How did a neighborhood drugstore, founded in 1901 and measuring just 50 feet by 20 feet, become the pharmacy all others are measured by and one of the most respected American corporations?

It all started in a town called Dixon

It would be impossible to tell the story of Walgreens drugstores without telling the story of Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. the man who started it all. Walgreen was born near Galesburg, Illinois, before his family relocated to Dixon, Illinois - a town 60 miles north of his birthplace - when his father, a farmer turned businessman, saw the great commercial potential of the Rock River Valley. It was here that Walgreen, at the age of 16, had his first experience working in a drugstore, though it was far from a positive one. Working at Horton's Drugstore (for $4 a week) was a job he took only because of an accident that left him unable to take part in sports. While working in a local shoe factory, Walgreen accidentally cut off the top joint of his middle finger, ending his athletic competition. Were it not for the accident, Walgreen might never have become a pharmacist, business owner and phenomenally successful entrepreneur. Ironically, his initial experience working at Horton's was itself a failure. Walgreen left after just a year and a half on the job.

Still, Walgreen realized that his future lay not in Dixon, but in a far larger city Chicago.

Generations of customers and employees hold fond memories of trips to the Walgreens soda fountain and prescriptions filled by the friendly local pharmacist. Most of all, they remember Walgreens, a welcome, dependable presence in countless neighborhoods across the country for more than 100 years.

Many of the products that have enriched our lives over the decades were developed and manufactured by Walgreens. Until the 1980s, however, there was no formal process for collecting and documenting the company's history. All that changed with the Walgreen Drug Stores Historical Foundation.

Early Walgreen stores looked quite different from our present self-service stores. It is the Historical Foundation's aim to build an understanding of early Walgreens store culture and to help educate the public about the role Walgreens played in the history of retail pharmacy. In 1986, the Historical Foundation unveiled a reproduction of the first Walgreens drugstore, which opened in 1901. The exhibit, featuring turn-of-the-century products and packaging, is housed at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

Everything old is new again

Today, with 425 new stores opening each year and 7,000 planned by 2010, Walgreens continues to innovate. Walgreens new computer system for filling prescriptions, Intercom Plus, links all stores into a single network and represents how advanced technology serves customers' needs better than any other pharmacy resource. In fact, Walgreens is the largest private user of satellite technology (second only to the United States government). Billing, labeling and prescription histories (for tax planning and reimbursement) are available more quickly and easily than ever before.

And now, with the ability to fill prescriptions quickly and economically at, the latest piece of Walgreens advanced technology is in place. For now.

After all, you can't move forward if you're standing still.


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