One of the most successful brand names of all time got its start on this date in 1886. That’s when Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton brewed up the first batch of Coca-Cola — designed as a hangover cure. The product went on sale at Jacob’s pharmacy a few weeks later, and sold an average of nine servings a day at the start. Success followed quickly, and until 1905, contained extracts of cocaine, as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut. Today, the firm’s products account for close to 2 billion servings a day around the world. Americans on average drink 40 about gallons of carbonated soft drinks a year, a rate that has been in decline lately. Still, some 45,000 people are employed in the $35 billion a year business of soft drink manufacturing. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.