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

Which blackout(s) did you experience?
Both

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Electric companies (especially in the northeast) were not prpared for the demand of electricity in the summer and they were not prepared to handle an emergency situation. All of this is still true today but to a much lesser extent.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
See 14

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?
1965 because it had not happened before 1977 because of rioting

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
In 1965 was on the Flushing El. (7 train) between stations when electricity went off. After long wait had to walk along tracks to next station. Got home by gettng on various buses (eerone was just etting on and off buses--back door, front door, whatever with no problems) In 1977 had to walk up and down 13 floors in aprtment in Manhattan. Somewhat concerned about riots and looting near Upper West Side home.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
Thought they werer more significant than while they were happening

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
No comparison.

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

If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
1965 was unbelievable as to its scope 1977 was not as much of a suprise but had added aspect of looting.

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 my experience (see previous questions) this account was true.

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #95, The Blackout History Project, 14 June 2000, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/95/>.
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