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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: October 25, 2012

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 lived in suburban Boston MA. Power went out at 5:30. Our neighbor who had a gas stove invited us for dinner, and we played board games by candlelight and listened to transistor radio.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Heightened demand tripped a relay which put large section of the power grid out of commission.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
1965 only

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
It was the height of the cold war, anything of the sort would have seemed so.

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
As a kid, it was kind of fun.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
It was a news major event.

What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
That's "effect" by the way, and it had none, we were not customers of ConEd.

Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?

How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
Became less reliant

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:
Rings true to me, we've lost a lot of ground.

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #2197, The Blackout History Project, 25 October 2012, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/2197/>.
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