Profile America: Gasoline Rationing and “Victory Speed”

Friday, May 19 — Gas prices are a frequent cause for consumer complaint — but at least purchases aren’t restricted, as they were beginning this month in 1942. That’s when 17 states began rationing gasoline to help the fight World War II. By December, rationing was nationwide and remained in effect until the end of the war, along with a national speed limit of 35 miles an hour, which was promoted as “Victory Speed.”

During WWII, there was a nation wide Victory Speed Limit of 35 mph. | Retronaut | Pinterest

During WWII, there was a nation wide Victory Speed Limit of 35 mph. | Retronaut | Pinterest

Now, there are nearly 112,000 gas stations across the country. Most — over 96,000 — have incorporated convenience stores. Each year, America’s gas stations sell over $550 billion worth of fuel and other items. Today’s cars average 23.9 miles to the gallon, while SUVs, vans and pickup trucks get 17.3 miles per gallon.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey here.

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