Profile America: The Real Thing Coca-Cola

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Sunday, July 8th. On this date in 1831, a baby was born in Knoxville, Georgia, who would grow up to invent a product that rather symbolizes America all around the world. John Stith Pemberton was a pharmacist addicted to morphine after using it to treat a wound he received as a Confederate officer in the Civil War. His search for a cure, which he never found, led him to create a beverage with a powerful, global attraction. His syrup debuted in Atlanta on May 8, 1886.

Soon called Coca-Cola, it went on to make his partners and investors quite wealthy. But not Pemberton, as the inventor sold his interest in 1888.

Across the country, there are 486 soft drink manufacturers, employing over 54,000 workers in a $40 billion a year business.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey here.

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