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Photo of a small wood building
The original 1903 Harley-Davidson motorcycle factory

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Harley-Davidson: "Coming Home"
A Local Legacy

Have you ever seen someone ride a hog? No, not a pig, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle!

In 1903, this little one-room building was the birthplace of the world's most famous motorcycle company -- Harley-Davidson. On its 95th anniversary in 1998, more than 100,000 Harley-Davidson fans gathered in Milwaukee to celebrate. Many riders took part in five fund-raising rides, which left from Spokane, Washington; Riverside, California; Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and York, Pennsylvania. They left on June 3, 1998, and arrived in Milwaukee 10 days later. Along the way they held fundraising events for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Harley-Davidson is the premier American-based manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles. In 1903 the company built only three motorcycles, but 10 years later, it built more than 12,000 a year. In 1995, Harley-Davidson built 105,104 motorcycles. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are also called "hogs." One possible explanation for this dates back to the 1920s when the Harley-Davidson factory had a racing team that brought their mascot with them to every race. Their mascot was a pig. So whenever the Harley-Davidson team came to a race people would say, "Here comes the Harley team and their hogs."

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