I hate high gas prices too, especially since it's driving up the cost of stuff like chocolate and doughnuts. But our parents remember a time when you got as much gas as the government allowed and that was it. During World War II rationing books were issued and determined your allotment. Then there was the energy crisis of the '70's. Because the United States supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, OPEC stopped exporting oil. There was a real shortage. In some states, drivers with an odd number at the end of their license plate number could buy gas only on odd-numbered days. Drivers with an even number could buy on even-numbered days. A different kind of bad news.
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press, July 23 2008
Graphic: Home Front Coupons, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.