#OTD20 | October 17, 1973

The 1973 Oil Crisis: America's Fuel Shock

October 17, 1973: The OPEC Oil Embargo shakes the foundation of America's energy consumption and changes the course of its economic and foreign policies.

In a strategic move during the Yom Kippur War, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) halts oil exports to nations supporting Israel. This decision sends shockwaves around the world, particularly in the United States.

"The embargo led to widespread panic, with long queues at gas stations, severe gasoline shortages, and rationing. The 'oil shock' became an iconic representation of the 1970s."

Beyond the immediate fuel crisis, this event spurs the U.S. into rethinking its energy policies, fostering innovation, and pursuing alternative energy sources. It also reshapes the geopolitical landscape, underscoring the intricate relationship between politics, warfare, and global energy markets.

Additional Resources

Access more information from Media Rich Learning and curated off-site sources.

U.S. Department of State

Read about the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo at the website of the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.


Read "The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo: The Old Rules No Longer Apply" at the website of National Public Radio.

The Balance

Read a blog post about the 1973 Oil Embargo from The Balance.


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