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November 9, 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 8 years old at the time of the Great Blackout of "65". I remember watching the 4:30 movie on channel 7 here in Queens New york...it was the Japanese classic Morthra. At a little after 5:00PM the television started to wobble and shrink in size. I also remember wanting a glass of water and not being able to ( Jamaica water supply used ground level tanks and pumps to pressurize their system, not water towers 60 feet up. I still had to do my homework.
Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Being 8 years of age, I really didn't know but hoped it would last.
What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
The system is so old it would cost trillions to tearout the old and install all new lines and equipment. every time a section is replaced now, the part next to it breaks down.
Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Both were significant
What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
They need our sympathy.
If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
I was 20 at the time of the 1977 blackout.It was in the summer and pretty hot. I remember going to work the next day in Brooklyn and seeing buildings being looted and having bricks tossed all over at passing cars.
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:
I saw the side of an auto parts store being pulled down with chains and a cab of a tractor trailer in 77.
Story #483, The Blackout History Project, 9 November 2005, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/483/>.
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