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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: May 14, 2000

Which blackout(s) did you experience?
1977 (New York City 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?
Although I was alive during both blackouts, I was a rebellous 17 yr old during the 77 one. For my friends and I it was a chance to do whatever we wanted because, basicly, no one could see us! I remember "hanging out" at what we called the "pyramids". They were at the entrace to the Con Edison plant in Astoria, New York. It was always a meeting place for kids but on this night it was really "cool". We all smoked pot and drank beer and laughed and had a great time.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
I remember is being really hot and I believe it was due to all the air conditioners in use.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
I have to believe there is a power surge so great that is causes the system to malfunction therefore shutting the system down.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
1977 only

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
Well I do remember all the bad things that did go on and it showed the state of people at the time.

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
Just the memories of feeling the only safe place was outside with everybody else.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
Do not recall

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
77 was much longer.

What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?

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

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:
The 77 story does ring true for me. I remeber reading the stories in the papers.

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #73, The Blackout History Project, 14 May 2000, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/73/>.
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