On this day in 1942, gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during World War II via History.com

On this day in 1942, gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during World War II. By the end of the year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ensured that mandatory gasoline rationing was in effect in all 50 states.

America had been debating its entrance into World War II until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The following day, Congress almost unanimously approved Roosevelt’s request for a declaration of war against Japan and three days later Japan’s allies Germany and Italy declared war against the United States. On the home front, ordinary Americans almost immediately felt the impact of the war, as the economy quickly shifted from a focus on consumer goods into full-time war production. As part of this transformation, women went to work in the factories to replace enlisted men, automobile factories began producing tanks and planes for Allied forces and households were required to limit their consumption of such products as rubber, gasoline, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes.