Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-third of Americans said 'you can't be too careful' in dealing with people.
An AP-GfK poll conducted last month found that Americans are suspicious of each other in everyday encounters.
Less than one-third of Americans expressed a lot of trust in clerks who swipe their credit cards, drivers on the road, or people they meet when traveling.
In fact, some studies suggest it's too late for most Americans to become more trusting.
Trust has declined as the gap between the nation's rich and poor gapes ever wider, University of Maryland Professor Eric Uslaner, who studies politics and trust, said, and more and more Americans feel shut out.
African-Americans consistently have expressed far less faith in 'most people' than the white majority does.
Racism, discrimination and a high rate of poverty destroy trust.