On this day in 1985, the Coca-Cola Company changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response was originally mixed, but soon became overwhelmingly negative, forcing Coca-Cola to revert to the original formula in less than 3 months… or did they? Coke’s sudden about-face on New Coke led to a number of conspiracy theories to help explain how one of the world’s biggest companies could make such a huge blunder. The three most popular theories are as follows:
1. The company WANTED the new formula to fail, knowing consumers would cause a storm of controversy and demand the original formula’s return.
2. The change provided cover for the removal of coca derivatives from the product, in order to placate the Drug Enforcement Administration, which was trying to eradicate the cocaine-producing plant worldwide.
3. It was a double-switcheroo, concocted to cover the change from sugar-sweetened Coke to less expensive high fructose corn syrup.
Seeing as Coke did switch to HFCS when the brought back the “original” recipe, and seeing as the U.S. sugar trade association took out full-page ads letting consumers know about this switch when it happened, I’d say that this is one conspiracy theory that we can safely assume to be conspiracy fact. This, despite the fact that Coke’s CEO at the time replied to these theories by saying: "We're not that dumb, and we're not that smart.”
Speaking of “new formulas”, it was on this day in 1984 that researcher Robert Gallo of the US National Cancer Institute “found” HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. Soon thereafter, researcher Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in France filed a lawsuit claiming he discovered AIDS first, and that Gallo had stolen the virus after it was sent to his lab for study. Anyway, if you’re one of those blinded-by-the-Enlightenment “skeptics” who refuses to even consider the possibility that the AIDS epidemic is a man-made bioweapon created for the most sinister of all imaginable purposes, I suggest you read this eye-opening editorial… just for starters, anyway.
On this day in 2005, the first ever YouTube video is uploaded, titled "Me at the zoo".