History of Dr Pepper Museum

Achievements and Highlights


1985

100th Anniversary of Dr Pepper celebration in Waco sparks interest in creating a museum. W.W. “Foots” Clements spearheads efforts to establish a museum.

1988

Non-profit organization established by Calvin Smith, Wilton Lanning and Glen Houston.

1989

Established first museum office with professional staff Joe Cavanaugh named Executive Director. Launched first major fundraising campaign.

1990

Began restoration of the "Home of Dr Pepper."

1991

Opened to the public on May 11 (with 900 square foot exhibit area) and began fundraising for second phase.

1992

Began second phase construction (back of first floor, front of second floor). Purchased All-Tex property located at 500 Mary St.

1993

Opened new exhibits on first and second floors.

1994

Tripled size of gift shop to increase earned income.

1995

Began fundraising for long-term exhibition on first floors ($258,500 goal). Project funded through Meadows Foundation matching grant ($91,000).

1996

Opened long-term exhibition on first floor. Began fundraising for Free Enterprise Institute. The Museum accepted the donation of the Dunagan Archives, the most comprehensive soft drink archives in Texas and the Southwest.

1997

Formal opening of W. W. “Foots” Clements Free Enterprise Institute Launched Internet home page website.

1998

Launched Free Enterprise educational program. Began plans for expanding program to different grade levels on site. Began formal plans for expansion of Museum.

1999

Approved architect's preliminary plans for expansion of campus.

2000

Jack N. McKinney named Executive Director. Launched $6.5 Million fundraising campaign.

2001

Caritas property purchased by the Museum for future expansion. The Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary and 600,000th visitor in May. Cadbury Schweppes (now Dr Pepper Snapple Group) begins payment of $1.5 million pledge to Dr Pepper Museum expansion.

2002

W. W. “Foots” Clements, Chairman Emeritus of Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Inc. and benefactor of the Dr Pepper Museum passes away at the age of 88. The Museum acquires the Behren's collection of drugstore and pharmacy objects and archives.

2003

Construction is completed on a new parking lot for the Museum.

2004

Construction is completed on a new courtyard for the Museum.

2005

The Museum’s endowment fund grows to over $800,000. City of Waco grants $339, 000 TIF money to the expansion campaign. May 11, 2005, 850,000 visitors by the 14th birthday of the Museum.

2006

Renovation of the Kellum-Rotan Building begins.  Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (now Dr Pepper Snapple Group) announces that it will move its collection of soft drink objects and archival material valued at more that $2.6 million to the care of the Dr Pepper Museum.

2007

Dr Pepper Museum welcomes its 1,000,000th visitor.

2008

W.W. "Foots" Clements--Dr Pepper Salesman Exhibit opens on the Museum's third floor.  Kellum-Rotan Building exterior renovation completed.

2010

In recognition of the 125th anniversary of the creation of Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper Snapple Group issue a $750,000 three-year challenge grant for the expansion of the Dr Pepper Museum

2011

Museum Surpasses 1.25 million visitors & celebrates its 20th year with the completetion of Phase III. Expansion includes the President's Boardroom, Hillcrest Conference Center & new administrative offices. The Museum earned a matching $250,000 from Dr Pepper Snapple Group for 2011.

2012

Construction begins on Phase IV of the Museum's Expansion.