1959: Leon Levine, a 22-year-old son of an immigrant Russian merchant, opens the first Family Dollar store on Central Avenue in Charlotte, N.C.
1961: First store opens in South Carolina.
1962: First store opens in Georgia.
1965: First store opens in Virginia.
1967: 27 stores operating in four states; annual sales top $5 million.
1969: 50 stores opened.
1970: Family Dollar goes public, offering common stock at $14.50 per share; adjusted for stock splits, each share is now equivalent to 162 shares.
1971: 100th store opens.
1972: Common stock begins trading on American Stock Exchange.
1974: Distribution center and headquarters open in Matthews, N.C.; 200th store opens.
1976: First quarterly cash dividend on common stock is declared.
1977: Annual sales exceed $100 million.
1978: 300th store opens.
1979: Common stock begins trading on New York Stock Exchange.
1981: 400th store opens; Howard Levine, son of Leon, joins company.
1982: 500th store opens.
1983: 700th store opens.
1987: Howard Levine leaves company, reportedly at odds with CEO father Leon.
1989: 1,500th store opens.
1992: Annual sales exceed $1 billion.
1993: 2,000th store opens.
1994: Distribution center opens in West Memphis, Ark.; company begins testing everyday-low-price concept to replace promotional positioning.
1995: EDLP implemented across chain.
1996: Howard Levine returns to company; 2,500th store opens.
1998: Howard Levine named CEO; Leon Levine remains chairman; distribution center opens in Front Royal, Va.
1999: Distribution center opens in Duncan, Okla.
2000: Annual sales exceed $3 billion; DC opens in Morehead, Ky.
2001: Family Dollar is added to the S&P 500 Index.
2002: Family Dollar joins the ranks of the Fortune 500; distribution center opens in Maquoketa, Iowa.
2003: Distribution center opens in Odessa, Texas; Family Dollar opens 5,000th store; Howard Levine named chairman as Leon Levine retires.
2004: Annual sales exceed $5 billion.
2005: Food strategy launched with installation of coolers in new and existing stores; distribution center opens in Marianna, Fla.
2006: Annual sales exceed $6 billion; 6,000th store opens.
2007: “Concept renewal” store layouts launched.
2008: Stores number nearly 6,660 and sales reach $7 billion.
2009: Family Dollar turns 50.
SOURCE: Company history, published reports, Securities and Exchange Commission filings.