December 27, 1941 – USA begins WWII tire rationing

The United States Federal Office of Price Administration (OPA) began its first rationing program to support WWII efforts on this day in 1941, limiting the number of tires any automobile driver could own to five, including the ones already on their vehicle. The OPA was originally designed as a consumer protection agency to stabilize prices and rents to prevent unwarranted increases, but when the war began in December 1941 it shifted to limiting purchases of certain goods, including tires, cars, metal, typewriters, bicycles and food. 

The OPA did issue a number of certificates to obtain new tires. but those were limited to vehicles deemed as essential, such as transport trucks for foods or fuels, public transportation, and safety and sanitary vehicles. After the war ended on both fronts, rationing in the US continued through 1945, with tire rationing not ending until December 31 of that year.

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