"There is no deficiency in production.". Froelich, a 41-year-old Republican congressman, presided over a heavily-forested district in Wisconsin and had recently been receiving complaints from constituents about a reduced stream of pulp paper. Much of this crisis was caused by the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) restricting the flow of oil to countries supporting Israel as part of the Yom Kippur War. Lewis Hine (American, 1874 – 1940), Soldier Thrown in Air, 1917, gelatin silver print, Patrons’ Permanent Fund 1995.36.90, “You know, we’ve got all sorts of shortages these days,”, “But have you heard the latest? I saw it in the paper. It’s the did-you-hear-that syndrome. Inflation had a significant impact on people’s lives around the world and caused many problems with the price of gas, food and utilities. Carson was blamed for the toilet paper shortage and tried to issue an apology to his more than 20 million viewers. Johnny Carson and the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973 Through a comedy of errors, this mostly forgotten piece of history concerns Johnny Carson, toilet paper and millions of fearful Americans. Like most scares, the toilet paper fiasco all started with an unsubstantiated rumor. Click Here to see Hope’s other published articles! “Even as word spread about the end of the toilet paper shortage, dozen of consumers were already expressing concern over other shortages. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Turn your company data into content marketing people actually like. A massive nationwide gas shortage and panic followed. By noon the next day, all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out of toilet paper. Toilet paper was bartered and traded and a black market even emerged before the whole ordeal subsided in February 1974. OPEC accounted for an average of two-thirds of American oil imports during the 1970s. "When there's uncertainty in the world, people would like to eliminate some of that uncertainty," said Boston University economics professor Jay Zagorsky, who said it is rooted in something called "zero risk bias.". In November of 1973, several news agencies reported a tissue shortage in Japan. But, as you know, history always seems to repeat itself. Her focus has been on the hidden history, Native American culture, activism, Appalachian and Southern folklore traditions. ", A month later, CBS News' own Walter Cronkite set the record straight: "The Scott Paper Company, citing panic buying on the retail level, said today it is implementing an allocation system for the national distribution of toilet tissue. Folklife: The Lost Tradition of Lye Soap and Hog Killin' Day, Sitting Up with the Dead: Lost Appalachian Burial Customs, Folklife: The Faith Healing Tradition of "Talking Out the Fire", The Magic of Words: North Carolina's First Witch Trial, Lincoln's Phantom Ghost Train: Night Switchman Describes Eyewitness Account in 1872, The Great Wagon Road: America's First Interstate Highway Disappears, History's Forgotten Car Maker: Richard Corbitt's Motor Buggys and Trucks, Bloody Christmas of 1929: The Lawson Family Massacre, Asheville’s Most Haunted: Riverside Cemetery. By the beginning of December, Rep. Forehlich issued another press release stating, “The United States may face a serious shortage of toilet paper within a few months. How to create content marketing that performs. The ground had been set for a consumer panic; all it needed was a spark to ignite it. The story became a media circus and television stations were airing footage from one of the largest producers of toilet tissue, Scott Paper Company.

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