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Manhattan was beautiful in the dark. . . .

It [the blackout] started a lifetime study of failures that finally discovered that they are not accidents. All failures are statisically predictable and often occur because of human failures. . . .

Within a couple of days, news reports started mentioning the possibility of terrorist attacks. This was at a time when we were all aware of "the russian threat". It made us think. . . .

I watched as our neighborhood was destroyed by the people that lived in it. They wrecked and looted our supermarkets,our shopping centers, our clothing stores and department stores. . . That was the first and only time that i was actually ashamed to be african-american. . . .

For a long time our utilities, like many monopolies, have ignored basic concerns, offering as little as they can get by with in the way of services. I think a blackout could have been anticipated back then. . . .

I suppose the blackout of 1965 has maintained its significance because everyone who recalls it knows just what he/she was doing at time. As such it joins the ranks of other events that people like to talk about (Kennedy assassination, Pearl Harbor attack, FDR's death, etc.) . . . .

I found it rather humbling to see a city with the size and energy of New York brought to a standstill. . . .

The immediate massive looting, fires and free-for-all atmosphere ("Christmas in July") in '77 were stunning. . . I always have felt that was the time that the traditional New York liberalism ended and law and order became the main issue. . . .

It was incredible how everyone just pitched in; black, white, Hispanic, it didn't matter. . . People just pulled together in the common cause. . . .

The bank had some important paper work that had to be TYPED. NO power – NO electric typewriters. . . With all our modern technology “out of service” we luckily had the old-fashioned means to get the job done. . . .

Manhattan was beautiful in the dark. . . .

i was 20 and living in manhasset, in nassau county. my boyfriend was a student at the art students league. he was stranded in the city and became very anxious. a kindly man took him to his apartment and called me. i then drove his 1959 chevy pickup with a corvette motor and custom paint into the city to pick up my boyfriend. the truck had a heavy duty clutch. needless to say, the traffic was intense. i had to take the queensborobridge, along with about 1,000,000 people. my leg was so sore from holding the clutch down and creeping along. the engine was not happy with the stop and go either. i had a friend with me and the trip took several hours. manhattan was beautiful in the dark. i had to go the upper east side go get my friend. there were garbarge cans afire along the street, not because of vandalism, but for light. people stood in groups and talked to each other. stores kept doors open and were candlelit. it seem erthreal, but calm and serene, not menacing or dangerous. we kept friends with my boyfriend's rescuer and attended a party a few months later that included Eileen Ford from Ford Models. it wasvery impressive to a 20 year old. i have nothing but fond memoriesof the event. it was an exciting adventure that made me feel brave and capable. i met people i would never have met if poor Buddy hadn't freaked out and needed rescuing. all in all, it was a ball.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #42
, 1965 - The Great Northeast Blackout.

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It [ the blackout ] started a lifetime study of failures that finally discovered that they are not accidents. All failures are statisically predictable and often occur because of human failures. . . .

It started a lifetime study of failures that finally discovered that they are not accidents. All failures are statisically predictable and often occur because of human failures. Much of what I learned revolves around the concepts of Attitude & Knowledge (A&K) and has since concentrated great appreciation of W E Demings teachings. Why, for example, did every 1970 Ford Maverick require a full valve job after 20,000 miles? Because Henry Ford's attitude was cost controls - forgetting the primary purpose of any company or organization is the product (not the profits). The valve job was require because the valve guides required on all 200 cu in engines and found standard on this engine in all previous years was removed by cost controller on the 1970 engine. Therefore a $1400 (1999 dollars) valve job on every car (and I did the labor).

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #48
, 1965 and 1977 Blackouts.

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Within a couple of days, news reports started mentioning the possibility of terrorist attacks. This was at a time when we were all aware of "the russian threat". It made us think. . . .

about how vulnerable we as a nation could be if someone, or some country, wanted to attack us.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #113
, 1965 - The Great Northeast Blackout.

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I watched as our neighborhood was destroyed by the people that lived in it. They wrecked and looted our supermarkets,our shopping centers, our clothing stores and department stores. . . That was the first and only time that i was actually ashamed to be african-american...

I was about 16 or 17 years old (in East New York) at the time.It was during the summer so the heat was intense.I remember sitting on my stoop with a boyfriend when all of the lights faded to black.I sat there, afraid to move. I heard screaming, then laughing.From that point on, all i could see were shadows of people running back and forth in the dark.I watched as our neighborhood was destroyed by the people that lived in it.They wrecked and looted our supermarkets,our shopping centers, our clothing stores and department stores.There were people running aroung carrying furniture, food, clothing and anything else they could get their hands on.People had gotten hurt in the melee.I remember thinking, why would they do this here?Where we live?It lasted until the next day.When it was over, our neighborhood was trashed.I will never understand why my people destroy and inconvenience themselves by taking away what they need for everyday survival.The thought never crossed their minds that if they destroy and steal from the neighborhood in which they live, where will they go to shop for food?clothing?furniture? That was the first and only time that i was actually ashamed to be african-american.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #106
, 1977 New York City Blackout.

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For a long time our utilities, like many monopolies, have ignored basic concerns, offering as little as they can get by with in the way of services. I think a blackout could have been anticipated back then. . . .

. . . But it bothers me to think that their alternative was experienced by people in Harlem and elsewhere a few months back when whole blocks including projects were "blacked-out" as an alternative to disrupting business. When will we understand that we can not treat people like less than that!

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #86
, 1965 and 1977 Blackouts.

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I suppose the blackout of 1965 has maintained its significance because everyone who recalls it knows just what he/she was doing at time. As such it joins the ranks of other events that people like to talk about (Kennedy assassination, Pearl Harbor attack, FDR's death, etc.)...

. . . . It connects those who recall such events; the survivors, like the Wedding Guest, get a chance to repeat their story every once in awhile and listen to the stories of others. It also was the only major failure of technology that we have ever experienced.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #95
, 1965 - The Great Northeast Blackout.

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I found it rather humbling to see a city with the size and energy of New York brought to a standstill. . . .

I always liked, even as a teenager in 1965, the way a disruption, such as a power failure or major snow storm, could tie up an entire city. I found it rather humbling to see a city with the size and energy of New York brought to a standstill. It's always been a great reminder for me that we are not really in control, no matter how much we like to believe we are, and I'm constantly surprised to find that more people don't see that.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #118
, 1965 - The Great Northeast Blackout.

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The immediate massive looting, fires and free-for-all atmosphere ("Christmas in July") in '77 were stunning. . . I always have felt that was the time that the traditional New York liberalism ended and law and order became the main issue. . . .

The 1965 blackout occured in the early evening and was little more than a particularly interesting inconvenience. Most of my extended family lived within a short distance of each other in the Bronx, so I recall we gathered together to share candles and flashlights. The family herding was the usual response to any special event. My father was caught in the subway and had to be picked up by car once he was able to get to a phone. I do not remember there being any sense of danger from the '65 event. The '77 blackout was a disaster. I still lived in the same place as I did in '65. Prior to it occurring the '65 event had always been mentioned as evidence of New Yorker's basic civility and ability to pull together under pressure and was even remembered as a fun event. The immediate massive looting , fires and free-for-all atmosphere ("Christmas in July") in '77 were stunning. For weeks this was the dominant thing most people I knew talked about exchanging stories one worse than the next. People were angered in a way I have not seen before or since and had there been some kind of instant vote as to whether the police should have been sent out with machine guns with a license to kill to restore order that horrible night, I don't believe it would have lost. I always have felt that was the time that the traditional New York liberalism ended and law and order became the main issue.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #32775
, 1965 and 1977 Blackouts.

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It was incredible how everyone just pitched in; black, white, Hispanic, it didn't matter... People just pulled together in the common cause...

On the other side of the bridge in Brooklyn, people were out in the streets directing traffic and helping in any way they could. It was incredible how everyone just pitched in; black, white, Hispanic, it didn't matter. It made you proud to be human. We kept riding toward our destinations and just as we turned onto Ocean Parkway, the lights were on. We all cheered thinking the failure was over. They dropped me off near my house, I thanked them, and they continued on their way. When I got home, my wife told me that our area had only lost power for a short period of time and that the failure was still in progress in the rest of the city. We found out the next day that a very alert power station attendant in Staten Island had seen the power stations going out of service one by one due to the overloads, so he pulled his station off the main feed and saved our portion of the city. We also learned the next day that there had been NO CRIME that night, everyone was too busy helping each other. It's as though the darkness had made everyone equal. People in other parts of the country had heard stories of rioting and looting but it was all nonsense. People just pulled together in the common cause. That's my recollection. I was out of New York when the other blackout occurred, but I couldn't believe the stories of looting that I heard because of my 1965 experience.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #32791
, 1965 - The Great Northeast Blackout.

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The bank had some important paper work that had to be TYPED. NO power – NO electric typewriters. . . With all our modern technology “out of service” we luckily had the old-fashioned means to get the job done. . . .

I was a corporate chauffeur [in 1977] for Marine Midland Bank, located at 140 Broadway, N.Y.C. The bank had some important paper work that had to be TYPED. NO power – NO electric typewriters. After a frantic telephone search, a manual typewriter was located out in a Long Island bank branch office. With the bank secretary aboard I drove out to the branch, no traffic signals or lights made for an INTERESTING trip. We took over four hours for the round trip, and the paper work was typed in time. With all our modern technology “out of service” we luckily had the old-fashioned means to get the job done.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the survey:
Survey #32810
, 1965 and 1977 Blackouts.

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jts{27 June 2000}