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Hadacol, a Cure-all Vitamin and Mineral Tonic

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Hadacol, a Cure-all Vitamin and Mineral Tonic

The peak year of the Hadacol fad was 1951, when sales approached $75,000,000. The medicine became a national institution in the 1940s and 1950s.  It was a vitamin mixture in a 12% alcohol solution.

Martin Gardner mentions it at the end of chapter 18 of his book "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science" (1957)
“Hadacol, a cure-all vitamin and mineral tonic that smells and tastes terrible, but is high in alcohol content”
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Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc.  

The Hadacol king, Dudley J. LeBlanc, was a popular tonic manufacturer, salesman, radio personality, and politician.  He became famous by taking groups of young ladies dressed in Evangeline costumes to Nova Scotia, and by touring the country with "caravans" of big-name celebrities to promote his product, Hadacol.  He had a weekly radio program during which he spoke only Cajun French.  As a state senator, he created the Louisiana Old Age Pension.  He also wrote a book on the history of the Acadian people.  He died in 1971 while running for another term, making it possible for his opponent, James E. Fontenot, to win the seat.

Some of the images here are from the Hadacol Caravans popular in the 1950's. View the pictures of Dudley with many famous people at the following link;

http://www400.sos.louisiana.gov/archives/leblanc/leblanc-1.htm

Cajun politician and entrepreneur Dudley J. "Couzin Dud" LeBlanc was born near Youngsville on August 16, 1894. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute, and during World War I served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. In 1924 LeBlanc was elected a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, and in 1926 became Public Service Commissioner. He served as State Senator from 1940 to 1944, 1948 to1952, and in 1964. In 1945 he established the Happy Day Company, which manufactured the popular Hadacol brand health tonic. LeBlanc promoted Hadacol extensively, sometimes using major entertainers as spokespersons. An active Cajun culture preservationist, LeBlanc served as president of the Association of Louisiana Acadians, and in the late 1960s helped to establish CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana). He authored three books: The True Story of the Acadians (1927); The Improved Version (1932); and The Acadian Miracle (1966, a revised and expanded version of his first book). LeBlanc appealed to political supporters via radio both in English and Cajun French, at a time when Cajun French was rarely heard on radio. He died on October 22, 1971, and was buried in Abbeville.

[Biographical information from Encyclopedia of Cajun Culture]
http://www.cajunculture.com/index.html
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Groucho Marx, on his radio program a few years ago, interviewed the inventor of Hadacol, Louisiana State Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc. When Groucho asked him what Hadacol was good for, LeBlanc gave an answer of startling honesty. "It was good," the senator said, "for five and a half million for me last year."

There was a popular song called "Hadacol Boogie" sometime in the early 1950s. .

Jerry Lee Lewis - Hadacol Boogie
View video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy45wq9SX_A&feature=related

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