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February 8: Jules Verne’s Birthday

It’s Jules Verne’s birthday. Born on this day in 1828, the ground-breaking 19th-century sci-fi writer didn’t mind a drink, especially if it was, well, augmented. He was such a fan of a beverage called Vin Mariani that he appeared in a print ad praising the product, along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the current Pope, and other luminaries. So what was Vin Mariani? It was wine jacked up with cocaine. It became so popular that a certain Dr. John Stith Pemberton of Atlanta decided to make his own version. Due to the prohibitionist winds blowing in the United States, he eventually dropped the alcohol from his version and called it Coca Cola. He would later get around to dropping the cocaine as well.