Harland Sanders is born in Henryville, Indiana.

Some say his first word was 'chicken', but it was more likely 'ma' and or 'pa'.

Until they crack time travel, we'll never really know for sure.

September 9th

No university for Harland. It wasn't that kind of world anyway.

Instead, he lives a life of country song, working his way round the southern states as a steamboat pilot, railroad fireman and farmer.

He may have owned a hound dog, but he definitely got a taste for southern style chicken.


Harland is 40.

He buys a roadside motel and cafe in Corbin, Kentucky. Always an avid cook, he puts his talents to use and starts to serve his take on southern fried chicken to the public.

But what about his unique blend of 11 herbs and spices? For now, it's just a thought...


The restaurant is doing well.

So well that State Governor, Ruby Laffoon commissions Harland as ''Kentucky Colonel'' for outstanding achievement in the community.

So the Colonel really was a colonel.


Finally, Harland perfects his blend of 11 Herbs and Spices.

We can't say what they are, it's top secret. Only a handful of people have ever known the full recipe. Some believe this group included Evel Kinevel, the rock band KISS and Dolly Parton. Sorry, not true.

They all asked, but we held our tongues.


Colonel Sanders dons his dapper white suit for the first time.

From now on, he never appears in public wearing anything else. In winter, he favours a heavy wool number, switching to light cotton for the summer months.

But always white and always double breasted.


Disaster strikes: Interstate 75 opens up and sucks away trade.

The restaurant closes and at 65 Harland has to start again from scratch.

Down, but not out, he takes his first social security check, pressure fryer and recipe, and sets out to sell the idea of southern fried chicken the Colonel way.


A growing network of franchisees across the US.

Nine years later and with a growing network of franchisees across the US, Harland feels it's time to slow down. He is 74 after all. So he sells the Kentucky Fried Chicken Company to a group of investors for $2 million. But he keeps his hand in, making sure quality is still high and lending his image to the brand.


Southern style chicken comes to the North of England.

The first KFC restaurant in the UK opens in Preston. The crowd goes wild and soon more restaurants spring up all over the country.


December 16 1980

At 90, Colonel Harland Sanders passes away, but the KFC brand continues to grow, with restaurants now all over the world.


It's time to refresh our image with a new logo.

To celebrate we make a version so big you can see it from space. It took around 24 days to assemble the 87,000 square foot image deep in the Mojave Desert.


We remove palm oil from our cooking oil in the UK.

We now use rape seed oil instead. It's better for you, doesn't have to travel thousands of miles, or kick an Orang-u-tang out of their home to grow the palms.


800 UK Restaurants.

We now have over 800 restaurants across the UK and plenty of plans to create new flavoursome meals and open more restaurants. Maybe even a space station. Who knows.

Right Now
Close Video
Close Video