Imagine a classic radio announcer's voice in a static-filled newscast. He says:

"Ladies and Gentleman: I am standing at a Washington, DC gas station. You can see the cars lining up. Due primarily to a shortage of rubber needed for the war effort, gasoline is to be rationed to avoid unnessary driving. Normal citizens are limited to just 4 gallons a week. Others can get more gas if they have special needs or obligations such as police officers, doctors, and religious leaders. People are not happy about this rationing on top of the food rationing already underway and the Victory Gardens everyone is growing in addition to putting all the time in on jobs and on buying war bonds. Still this what everyone is doing because it justs seems to make sense. All Americans want to see this war won and the soldiers, sailors and airmen back home as soon as possible. People who act like there is no war on are the ones that everyone else frowns upon. Hopefully, US citizens will never have to ration fuel again."

Gas rationing did reduce the amount of driving during the Second World War but there were a lot of holes in the system. Gas rationing of a sort occurred 31 years later during the 1973 Energy Crisis (limited sales to each customer) and then about 8 years later during the Iran Crisis (odd-even gas rationing). Again, Americans just sucked it up and generally complied until the emergency was over. Now, in late 2007, we have been at war (in Iraq and Afghanistan) for nearly 5 years but we haven't really had to sacrifice anything for the war effort. Will gas rationing ever be needed again in the US? Will Americans used to unlimited travel on the interstate highway system and long daily commutes be able to adjust? Our grandparents did. It happened 65 years ago, and . . . You Are There!

Share This Photo X