Oil Embargo

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960. The five original members were Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela, but they were later joined by Qatar (1961), Indonesia (1962), Libya (1962), United Arab Emirates (1967), Algeria (1969), and Nigeria (1971). As a result of the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, OPEC imposed an embargo on oil shipments to the United States and other industrial nations in the winter of 1973 and 1974. Oil prices--and gasoline prices--increased fourfold in a few months, while supplies ran low. Congress banned gasoline sales on Sundays, and a number of states imposed gasoline rationing. Long lines at gas stations became a common sight. For the first time, a gallon of gasoline cost more than $1 at the pump, and since most pumps were only capable of charging 99 cents, many gas stations were forced to price their gasoline by the half-gallon.

A Marathon station in Detroit with no gas to sell in the midst of the OPEC oil embargo, February 23, 1974.

Images from the collection of The Virtual Motor City: (c) 2003 Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University. All images associated with the Virtual Motor City Collection are protected by United States copyright law. Duplication or sale of all or part of any of the data or images is not permitted without consent of the copyright holder. 1) ID38014_1
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