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Contributed by: J Huntley
Contributed on: September 22, 2006

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?
When the blackout of 1965 happened, I was less than a month away from my 5th birthday. I remember being in the kitchen with my dad getting ready for dinner.
Living in Northern NH, which is very rural, and loosing the power wasn't a big deal at all. We lost it all the time. However, there was something strange about this power failure. I can't really explain it, maybe something that I sensed from daddy, that this wasn't just another failure because of a downed tree.
I remember the lights dimming for a while, and just glowing, and if memory serves me correctly, they got bright again then dimmed and then finally went out.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
Now, I think with our current technology, that they're probably very rare. However, as with anything, and certainly anything that's run by a computer, at times, things are going to go wrong. Anything critical should be prepared to go on emergency power for several days.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Both were significant

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
I think they were both significant, '65 more so than '77, mostly because of the total land mass that was affected.

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
'65 really sticks out in my mind. I actually remember more about that one than the one in '77.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
Again, due to the large area that went dark. It's really strange now when an entire town looses power, never mind an entire region.

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?
No effect / same reliance

Cite as: J Huntley, Story #663, The Blackout History Project, 22 September 2006, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/663/>.
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