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Some Highlights of Pepsi History

February 17, 1998 GMT

Some highlights in the history of Pepsi-Cola:

Late 1890s_ Pharmacist Caleb Bradham begins offering a new beverage, soon dubbed ``Brad’s drink,″ at his drug store fountain in New Bern, N.C.

1898_ Bradham changes the drink’s name to Pepsi-Cola.

1902_ Bradham launches the Pepsi-Cola Co. from the back of his pharmacy.

1903_ Bradham awarded the Pepsi-Cola trademark.

1905_ Bradham begins bottling his drink, and later starts awarding franchises.

1923_ Bradham declares bankruptcy, selling the Pepsi trademark and business for $35,000.

1931_ Company goes bankrupt again after changing hands several times.

1931_ Charles Guth, owner of Loft Inc., a chain of East Coast candy stores and soda fountains, buys Pepsi trademark and other assets at bankruptcy sale for about $10,000. Guth has a chemist change the drink formula to his liking.

1934_ Bradham dies at age 67. Guth begins selling 12-ounce bottles of Pepsi for a nickel, twice as much beverage as most other soft drinks.

1940_ Pepsi’s radio jingle ``Twice As Much For A Nickel Too″ debuts and is declared ``immortal″ by Life magazine.

1941_ Loft merges with its Pepsi subsidiary, becoming the Pepsi-Cola Co.

1950_ Alfred Steele, a former Coca-Cola executive, becomes president of Pepsi, named chairman of the board in 1955.

1954_ Steele’s wife, actress Joan Crawford, becomes Pepsi spokeswoman.

1958_ Company introduces ``swirl″ bottle design.

1963_ Diet Pepsi introduced and company focuses marketing on youth.

1965_ Pepsi Cola Co. acquires Frito-Lay, becomes PepsiCo.

1972_ Company announces that Pepsi-Cola is to become the first American consumer product to be produced, marketed and sold in the Soviet Union.

1977_ PepsiCo buys Pizza Hut restaurants.

1978_ PepsiCo buys Taco Bell restaurants.

1984_ Pop singer Michael Jackson hospitalized with second-degree scalp burns after smoke bomb misfires during filming of a Pepsi commercial.

1986_ PepsiCo buys Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

1995_ Company begins U.S. testing of Pepsi XL, sweetened with equal measures of sugar and aspartame.

1996_ PepsiCo sued for failing to deliver $33 million military jet featured in television promotion offering items with the Pepsi logo in exchange for proofs of purchase. A group of investors put up about $700,000 to buy the required 7 million purchase points. Lawsuit is still pending.

1997_ PepsiCo spins off its fast-food restaurant operations into separate company, Tricon Global Restaurants.