Click for audio Corn Flakes and Greatness

Will Kellogg had a terrific cereal marketing idea in 1907. He advertised, “Wednesday is ‘Wink Day’ in New York.” Any courageous homemaker could wink at the grocer and get a free box of corn flakes. Creativity, drive, and freedom would combine to make “Kellogg’s” a household name on three continents.

Young Kellogg dropped out of high school, failed at selling brooms, and got a job working for his controlling brother in a Battle Creek sanitarium. A moment of enlightenment would give Will his freedom.

Will went home from the sanitarium one night, leaving his special breakfast wheat dough rolled out on the kitchen counter. Will discovered the stuff had dried and “flaked up.”

Inspiration struck. He experimented with other grains. He found his “corn flakes” and other cereals were very popular and sales took off in 1896. He eventually changed how America ate breakfast and created jobs for thousands. He used his wealth to start the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, today Michigan’s largest philanthropic organization.

The Will Kellogg story tells us that any person with a bright idea and the freedom to pursue it can overcome adversity and accomplish great things.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.