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November 5, 2009
Which blackout(s) did you experience?
1965 (Great Northeast Blackout)
In your own words, tell the story of your experience in the blackout(s). Try to recall specific events and the people, places, and things involved; also include more general reactions, images adn last impressions?
I was a new nurse. I worked at Caledonian Hospital in Brooklyn,N.Y. I lived in the Nurses Residence on the property. I worked the 7 to 3 shift and was off duty. Then the lights went out and we were all notified to get back to the hospital. For some reason,the auxillary lights did not stay on,We used flashlights and candles. An ice cream truck gave us power too.It was a busy night. Other staff were caught in the subway near by and were led out by the police.
I just met my husband to be,aMarine and the next night we were going to the Marine Corps Ball.He was trying to reach me to see if I was safe.
Anther callmate of mine was off and 9 mos later,her son was born.
Like the song says,"oh what a night."
Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Had no idea then,not sure now.
What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
More sources of power needed
Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
The 1965,because it showed us changes should be made.1977 showed things got better,but still needed improvement.
How did the blackout(s) affect you?
I went with the flow and was young.had gas to cook with.
What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
It made you think that life turns on a dime.
How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
the size of it.The amount of time involved.The damage done to food,heating,cooling that effected people.
What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
The need for improvement was shown.
If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
By 1977, I was living in Suffolk county on the island pregnant with my son and my daughter was was almost 8.My husband,that Marine,was a NYC policeman.More responsibility.977,lasted shorter and we got power sooner.
Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?
Yes (please explain)
If yes, please explain:
1965,people were not prepared.Since than,more back up plans are in effect.
How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
No effect / same reliance
This is how the story goes: In November of 1965 the lights went out in New York and crime rates temporarily dropped; there were widespread reports of extraordinary cooperation and trust between strangers caught together in the power failure. In July of 1977, little more than a decade later, the lights went out again in New York. This time, a devastating wave of looting and arson broke out. Does this story ring true to you? Explain why or why not:
Being a policeman,my husband said 1977 was bad in that regard.
Story #2173, The Blackout History Project, 5 November 2009, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/2173/>.
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