September marks Jabara’s 45th year in business, so we thought it would be fun to take a look at what life was like when we opened in 1970. Here are a few fun facts and events from the year.
- Richard Nixon was President of the United States (1969-1974), Vice President was Spiro T. Agnew.
- The average price of gas was 35¢ a gallon.
- A first-class postage stamp cost 6¢.
- The average price of a new house was $23,450.
- The average annual income was $9,400.
In the News
- Monday Night Football began airing on ABC. Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford were the play-by-play announcers.
- Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died. Both were 27 years old.
- The Beatles broke up.
- The floppy disk was introduced by IBM.
- Wichita State University football team plane crashed on October 2, 1970, killing 31 players, coaches, administrators and supporters.
- The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, defeating Minnesota 23-7.
- Krazy Glue was introduced.
- The Environmental Protection Agency was created.
- PBS (The Public Broadcasting System) began operating.
- Earth Day was first observed.
- The Apollo 13 mission to the moon had to be cut short due to an accident.
- The first Boeing 747 jumbo jet commercial flight was on January 22, 1970, from New York to London.
- Wichita’s City Centennial celebration was held, which would later become the Wichita River Festival.
George Jabara Sr. opened Jabara’s Damaged Freight in 1970 with a simple business model: Buy and sell home improvement products at low prices. George had experience buying other types of distressed goods from auctions, liquidations and warehouses and then reselling them, and he found that many people in Wichita loved saving money on home improvement items.
George’s youngest son, Tom, worked at the store from the beginning, and sons George Jr., William (Bill) and Nick joined the company after the elder George passed away in 1978. They soon discovered that flooring was one of their best selling products. So, the brothers opened a second store, Jabara’s Carpet Outlet, in 1985. Again, the goal was simple: Carry the largest, best-priced, in-stock inventory of carpet and flooring in the area. In 1995, they opened a third company, Jabara’s Carpet Galerie, which sells special-order flooring products.
Today, Jabara’s Damaged Freight has become Jabara’s Home Improvement, and the three family-owned businesses together occupy an entire city block in north Wichita. One thing that hasn’t changed in all these years: Jabara’s commitment to providing the largest selection, best prices, and outstanding customer service.