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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: March 14, 2005

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?
Was traveling on the LIE from Westbury, NY to visit my mother in Booth Memorial Hospial in Queens. Did not realize there was a blackout until we got off the expressway. It was a strange feeling to see people wondering in the dark, no lights no traffic lights. Finally got to hospital to find lights.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
The balck out in my oppinion was an over burden on the system on a very hot day.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
Same as 1.3

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

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
To happen in a metropolitian area where you had a lot of confidenec in ConEd

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
It made traveling very hazdarous

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

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
It gave you the feeling that no one had control. No one was sure asto what happened.

What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
It made you realize the were not as updated as they could be

If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
The 1965 was much more frightening, the 1977 was accepted as another blub.

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

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:
Yes, I believe because in 1977 the people realized what they could get away with.

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #336, The Blackout History Project, 14 March 2005, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/336/>.
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