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This Day in Georgia History

August 16, 1888

John Pemberton Died

John Pemberton died at his home in Atlanta. Born in Knoxville, Georgia in 1831, Pemberton became a pharmacist in Columbus. During the Atlanta Campaign, he organized Pemberton’s Cavalry and served as a captain under Gen. Joe Wheeler until the end of the war. In 1869, he moved to Atlanta, where he eventually started the Pemberton Chemical Company. In 1886, he invented a syrup blend consisting of extracts of coca and kola for use in treating headaches. The next year, fate led a customer to ask for the syrup diluted with carbonated water - and thus was born Coca-Cola.