History of Coca-Cola 1941-1959: the war and what followed
In 1941, America entered World War II and thousands of US citizens were sent overseas. To show support for the brave men and women, Coca-Cola President Robert Woodruff ordered that “every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the company”.
In 1943, General Dwight D Eisenhower sent an urgent cable to Coca-Cola requesting shipment of materials for 10 bottling plants. During the war many people enjoyed their first taste of the drink, and when peace finally came, the foundations had been laid for Coca-Cola to do business overseas.
Woodruff’s vision that Coca-Cola be placed within ‘arm’s reach of desire’ was coming true. From the mid-1940s until 1960, the number of countries with bottling operations nearly doubled.
Post-war America was alive with optimism and prosperity. Coca-Cola was part of a fun, carefree American lifestyle, and the imagery of its advertising – happy couples at the drive-in, carefree mums driving big, yellow convertibles – reflected the spirit of the times.
History of Coca‑Cola: 1886-1892
History of Coca‑Cola: 1893-1904
History of Coca‑Cola: 1905-1918
History of Coca‑Cola: 1919-1940
History of Coca‑Cola: 1941-1959
History of Coca‑Cola: 1960-1981
History of Coca‑Cola: 1982-1989
History of Coca‑Cola: 1990-1999
History of Coca‑Cola: 2000-Now
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