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Energy Crisis in the 1970s

by Barbara Rimkunas

This "Historically Speaking" column was published in the Exeter News-Letter on Friday, March 27, 2020.

In the Fall of 1972, we settled in to watch a new TV series, The Waltons, about a proud family with far too many kids trying to make do on their family mountain in their cavernous house that had no mortgage during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The series lasted nine seasons. Why would 1970s audiences be drawn to a series about hard times? Perhaps it was because it seemed like everything was falling apart in the 1970s. The war in Vietnam had fractured society. President Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign – which had given him the greatest landslide victory in U.S. history – was gradually being soiled as the dirty tricks of the Watergate conspiracy were uncovered. Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace. Food prices shot up – especially meat in 1972 (my family with far too many kids was introduced to chipped beef casserole during the 19…

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