The Gas Shortage of the 1970’s

Written by Rebeka Knott

Gas stations were selling gas on an odd/even day basis. If your license plate number ended in an even number, you could buy gas on certain days and the same concept applied to odd numbered license plate numbers.

In June of 1973, the price of a gallon of gasoline was under 50 cents. By May of 1974, it had skyrocketed to over $4.00 per gallon. The shortage and price hike were reportedly due to two major oil refineries being closed.

As the frustration grew, tempers flared. People were fighting, both verbally and physically in the gas lines. If a person got in line on the wrong day (and it was easy to tell because of the license plate number) there was hell to pay. It wasn’t just a gas shortage, it was an entire economy crisis.