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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: September 8, 1999

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 working on wall street and for some reason stopped to fix mu makeup, as i ran down the stairs to get my train it was just pulling out. i was so mad at myself as i knew i would have to wait. well as we stood there the lights flickered once or twice and then it became quite dark except for the emergency lights. some older woman grabbed my elbow and asked if she could stand next to me as she was afraid that the russians were coming. i said of course but did not feel that it was anything that drastic. in a short period of time a representative of the subway guided us all out of the station. it was quite weird to see the city dark. after quite a bit of confusion myself and a few others felt it would be safe to try and walk over the bridge into brookyn as we didn't know how extensive this was. as we were approaching the bride lots of cars were asking if anyone needed a ride.everyone was so nice and helpful and we took advantage of it. i was able to make it to a relative's house in brooklyn and called my parents to advise of my safety. my father sid they had electricity in our house on 131 st and rockaway blvd. i was able to make it into work the next day and there was mass confusion. one of my bosses had been in the vault 3 stories below street level and couldn't leave. another co worker was on an elevator. they all survived and surprisingly enough i belive there was no crime or just a bare minimum.

unfortunately the next one was a little different and people were destroying just for the sake of destroying. for instance on church ave in brooklyn they even went into a donut place and just threw them all over. then some people

besides looting other places broke a window at an eyeglass place and just threw around the frames tthat was a shame

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
not the right type of management of the power

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Both were significant

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
to show us how reliant we are. what did they do in the times of the past where we used other means

If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
see above

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:
see above

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #25, The Blackout History Project, 8 September 1999, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/25/>.
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