The Disturbing History of Coca-Cola

There’s a reason it’s called Coca-Cola — the soda used to contain cocaine. This isn’t some national secret, although Coca-Cola tends to downplay it. There was a time when the drink was considered medicinal. Dr. John Pemberton put just enough cocaine in his new soda to give you a fix, and it was eventually named Coca-Cola. Coke removed the cocaine in 1903, but if you’re thinking they had to, you’re wrong. The US government didn’t ban cocaine until 1914. So why did Coke jump the gun early? Racism.

Because Coke was so affordable — at around a nickel a bottle — anyone could buy a coke, and that included blacks. Whites feared “negro cocaine fiends” would rape white women, all hopped up on nickel Coca-Colas. Southern newspapers at the time spread the fear by reporting on gangs of black men high on cocaine taking liberties with proper Southern Belles. There is still coca in Coke today; but without the ecgonine alkaloid it’s harmless.

The following documentary covers the INSANE story of Coca-Cola. t covers the history of Coca-Cola, along with some of Coke’s biggest scandals, controversies, and marketing successes. It begins by looking at the early beginnings of Coca-Cola as a patent medicine in the 1800s, created by John Pemberton. It examines Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy and how it pioneered many marketing tactics that are commonplace today.