Thursday Open Line

The home front during World War II had to cope with some irritating impositions, notably gas rationing and a lack of new cars and tires. But what for many was a real crisis was coffee rationing. Decreed in 1942 because of hoarding and supply concerns, it proved very unpopular. President Roosevelt ended the rationing on this date in 1943 because imports had rebounded. Coffee may have been an early import by the Jamestown colony in the 17th century. Coffee consumption overtook tea after the American Revolution and peaked in 1946 at over 46 gallons per capita annually. Now, Americans drink something over 20 gallons of various coffee preparations per year, some portion of that from the nation’s 19,000 coffee shops. Coffee sales at the wholesale level are nearly $17 billion per year. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <>.