On this date in History .... 1941:
The Office of Price Administration mandates the first
rationing program of the war by mandating no one person could own more than
five tires and any tires owned in excess of five had to be turned in.
War with the Japanese made it difficult to
get rubber from the Dutch Indies, which was where over 90% of the U.S.’s raw
rubber came from, and what rubber could be obtained was used for war supplies.
People were urged to save their tires by carpooling and driving less. Posters sent messages such as “When you ride
alone, you ride with Hitler!”
rubber drives collected tires, water hoses, swimming caps, gloves, raincoats,
baby rubber pants and anything else that could be recycled for the war.
Gas rationing began on December 1, 1942, not
so much as a way to save gas but more as a way to reduce driving which would
save the use of tires, which would decrease the civilian demand for rubber. Tire
rationing ended on December 31, 1945.