John B., United States
Gasoline the BIG Shortage-and Empty Tanks.
California-I think it was 1973. The oil producing countries decided to stop the flow of gasoline , and in California where everyone drives , that was a problem.
Gas stations were closed with signs reading "out of Gas". We could only fill up our tank on "even days" as our license plate started with an even number. Lines were 20, 30 or 40 cars lined up on the appropriate days.
When we drove on the freeways the speed limit was 55, by government mandate as a gas saving tactic, 55 being the most economical speed for the cars of that period.
In some gas stations there were armed guards to keep order. Locking gas caps were in demand and stores where they were sold were sold out! I had my gasoline tank emptied by a thief right in my driveway during the night. Another time I filled the tank and went to a college class in the evening. When class was over-you guessed it the thiefs had siphoned gas from my car again!
After this it was imperative to find a store and purchase a locking cap, and this I did. Because of this shortage people began to drive smaller cars to save gasoline, and the 55 speed limit saved gas and also lives.
Because our country cut back on consumption we basically used about half of what we were using before the crisis. As the country used half as much gasoline it became cheaper and more abundant. Enter the bigger cars and trucks, and good by to the little VW Rabbits and beetles. And now in 2008 a hummer in every garage or a big SUV- gas WAS CHEAP!