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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: February 2, 2000

Which blackout(s) did you experience?
1977 (New York City 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?
it was horrible.....i was home in my apartment on 55st and all of a sudden...the lights go out and i can't see a thing...my daughter was about 2months old and i couldn't find the room that she was in because it was pitch black...I went histerical...so naturally so did my daughter..I was alone in the apartment with her..my husband was out getting some baby milk for our daughter and I was a mess...after stumbling on so many toys and things I got to her and i was so relieved to see her...I don't think I was ever that relieved in my life....my husband didn't get home till after midnight but i can honeslty say that that was the most joyous moment in both our lives...

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
I really don't care..all i know is that I didn't have any candles because I always relied on the electric companies to provide electricity for me and my family....i tell you that change my mind...a week later i went out and bought a whole box of candles and never ran out of them again.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Neither was significant

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
I was shocked and scared because I had my daughter who was so tiny and new.....i think it was pretty significant

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
I was very dissapointed

Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
No

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?
No

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

If other, please specify:
i bought candles every day for the rest of my life and never ran out of them...

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:
yes because i read it in the paper the very next day

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #33, The Blackout History Project, 2 February 2000, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/33/>.
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