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Contributed by: mer
Contributed on: July 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?
i was at a settlement house tutoring children for my education course at pace college(univ) just a few blocks away. suddenly, the light bulbs went out and we were in the dark inside, there was no panic- our supervisor had a flashlight and we walked slowly back to the school.
no subways, no lights.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
dont know= power failure?

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
dont know

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 made national news

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
not really. found a ride back home.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
heard lots of blackout stories.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
the same, except i was this time inside a public bldg.

What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
none

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?
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:
in 1965, i wasnt aware of even considering looting in new york city, i just wanted to find my way back to school, and then, home.

Cite as: mer, Story #414, The Blackout History Project, 14 July 2005, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/414/>.
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