OPA was dead; dead as a doornail. All price ceilings were off—a state of affairs the U.S. people had not known for more than four and a half years. No matter if Congress did backtrack and restore a few, OPA was over and done with.

The news was variously received. Some cried woe and others hallelujah. Those who cried woe saw abysmal inflation ahead, chaos, the ruination of the nation's economy. Those who cried hallelujah said, in effect: okay, this is going to be all right; we're just going to do things the way we always did them in peacetime.

What was...

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