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Contributed by: BENNIE MAE LYONS
Contributed on: September 21, 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 standing on the corner of 7th. ave and 34th. st. across the street from Macy's Department store, right in front of Citibank waiting for my husband to pick me up from work as I worked at 450 Seventh Ave. I stood there I was looking up at Macy's and noticed that the lights was going out floor by floor, the I noticed that the traffic lights was going out street by street. I thought the world was coming to an end or that I was dreaming. It was then that people in cars begin to put on their brakes and literly stop driving, then horns started blowing . It was only momemts that the darkness was evident all over Manhatten. Shortly after my husband pulled up and as he stopped the car, total strangers hopped in our car, I had a hard time getting in myself. But he manage to get some order, and we drove as many people as the car could hold to their destinations and then we went home. I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT EVENING.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
POWER FAILURE

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

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

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME IT LAASSTED

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
THE FIRST 2 DAYS I STAYED HOME FROM WORK, AND AFTER MY BOSS HIRED MY HUSBAND TO BRING MYSELF AND ANOTHER EMPLOYER THAT LIVED NEAR US TO WORK EVERDAY.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
I HAVE NO COMMENT.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
THAT WAS NOT A NORMAL BLACKOUT, BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF TIME IT LASTED.

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

If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
I DONT REMEMBER ANY SPECIFIC DETAILS ABOUT THE ONE IN 1977.

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

Cite as: BENNIE MAE LYONS, Story #470, The Blackout History Project, 21 September 2005, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/470/>.
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