1970s gas prices surged past $1 (finally)


In 1973, the average price per gallon of gas was 39 cents.

Despite the anxiety over the possibility of $1 gas, unleaded regular didn’t reach that price in the South until Nov. 1979, when the Iran hostage crisis started, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Or did it?

Constitution staff writers Barry King and Sharon Bailey’s July 13 story from that year, headlined “Gas Goes Over $1 A Gallon In Much Of South” claimed the $1 mark was hit months sooner, noting Tampa, Fla., premium selling for as much as $1.05 and Jackson, Miss., customers paying $1.009 for premium.

caption arrowCaption

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is gradually easing after surging for weeks. The price, however, is still at record levels. A gallon of regular-grade gasiline ddropped to $4.24 per gallon after reaching an astonishing $4.43 per gallon a week ago, according to AAA.

Credit: ArLuther Lee

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is gradually easing after surging for weeks. The price, however, is still at record levels. A gallon of regular-grade gasiline ddropped to $4.24 per gallon after reaching an astonishing $4.43 per gallon a week ago, according to AAA.

Credit: ArLuther Lee

caption arrowCaption

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is gradually easing after surging for weeks. The price, however, is still at record levels. A gallon of regular-grade gasiline ddropped to $4.24 per gallon after reaching an astonishing $4.43 per gallon a week ago, according to AAA.

Credit: ArLuther Lee

Credit: ArLuther Lee

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Closer to home, one Georgia gas station hitting the $1 mark found itself shamed for doing so.

“A service station in Augusta listed premium prices at $1.014 until a local radio station broadcast the increase in news reports,” the Constitution told readers. “The station dropped its price back to 99 cents a gallon because the station operator said he couldn’t stand the bad publicity.”

In Atlanta, however, premium averaged a comparatively cheap 95.1 cents.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

To zoom in on the story, click the three bars at top right. Then click “Original Document (PDF).”

Besides pricing, metro Atlanta drivers in summer 1979 had another mounting concern: keeping track of which service stations were open and when.

“Ten percent … are open 24 hours a day; 44 percent are open until 8 p.m. weekdays; 64 percent are open Saturday until 6 p.m.; and 36 percent are open Sunday,” Bailey…

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