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". . . These two lightning strokes initiated a chain of events . . ."

". . . Certainly the 1965 blackout could never happen again . . ."

"Minutes after the Blackout began, men in trucks equipped with chains and hooks were being paid by crowds to rip off the iron gates and fences..."

". . . it was important to take into account the social problems of the community . . ."

"Within minutess, ordinary people who had been sitting on stoops turned into raging mobs . . ."

"Who can say that New York is more than a flick of a Con Edison switch from fresh chaos?"

"The looting and arson . . . accounted for almost one half of the total economic costs associated with the blackout"

"A large financial burden was experienced by Con Edison itself in recovering from the blackout . . ."

". . . the media labeled the perpetrators as 'savages' and 'animals' . . ."

". . . The looting that occured during the blackout actually was quite similar to that experienced during civil disorders . . ."

". . . some 1,037 fires occurred and were attributable primarily to arson . . ."

"Con Ed's performance is, at the very best, gross negligence . . ."

". . . it was 'a night of terror . . ."

". . . 'My momma give it to me--you can have it,' said one of the kids as they dashed into a crowd that was happily watching a blazing furniture store."

"A number of looters were robbed in turn by other thieves . . ."

"To handle the overflow, the city reopened the Tombs, a Manhattan jail . . ."

". . . a power system that many people thought was made fail-safe . . ."

". . . 'The elevator's out," . . . 'So's New York,"

". . . underscored once again the fragility of urban America in the last quarter of the twentieth century . . ."

"The arrest count exploded to a staggering 3,776 . . ."

". . . someone just blew out a candle all over the city."

". . . Con Ed faulted "an act of God" for the blackout . . ."

". . . They're coming across Bushwick Avenue like buffalo . . ."

". . . main cause of the violence was the serious national economic decline . . ."

". . . issue is a more general, spiritual kind of hunger, deeply felt by citizens of the ghetto . . ."

"You get whatever you can carry . . ."

"On a warm evening last July 13, an intense electrical storm accompanied by a heavy winds and rain moved southeast across Westchester County in the state of New York. At approximately 8:37 p.m., lightening struck the towers on a section of the right-of-way between two power transmission stations of the Consolidated Edison system, which serves the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island--and most of Westchester County. Less than 20 minutes later, other towers were struck. These two lightning [sic] strokes initiated a chain of events that led to the shutdown of the electrical supply for the city of New York."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
"Anatomy of a Blackout," pg. 39)

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"It was a crisis of light and of darkness--the kind of event that brings out the best and the worst in people. Certainly the 1965 blackout could never happen again, or so New Yorkers had thought. But something very much like it struck Wednesday the 13th, only this time it was frighteningly different. Through the long, sweaty night and most of the following day, the nation's largest city was powerless, lacking both the electricity on which it depends so heavily and any means to stop a marauding minority of poor blacks and Hispanics who, in severe contrast to 1965 went on a rampage--the first since the hot summer riots of the 1960s. They set hundreds of fires and looted thousands of stores, illuminating in a perverse way twelve years of change in the character of the city and perhaps of the country.

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 12

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"Minutes after the Blackout began, men in trucks equipped with chains and hooks were being paid by crowds to rip off the iron gates and fences that protected neighborhood stores. Within fifteen minutes, stolen goods were being offered to neighborhood residents who were on the streets or stranded in apartment buildings without elevator service." "Within two hours it became apparent that the situation was not going to end quickly, and thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens joined in what was to become the largest collective theft in history."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
"Predictors of Looting" pg. 228

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In understanding the causes and consequences of looting, we found that it was important to take into account the social problems of the community, especially the extent of unemployment and underground economic activity, as well as formal and informal elements of social control."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
"Predictors of Looting," pg. 229

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Within minutess, ordinary people who had been sitting on stoops turned into raging mobs in one neighborhood after another, from Tremont Avenue in the Bronx to Jamaica, Queens. They looted hundreds of stores, carting off anything they could grab with two hands. They set fires. For the devastated Bushwick section of Brooklyn, this was but a prelude to weeks of repeated arson. The craziness was so widespread that 4,000 people were arrested in the blackout, which lasted 25 hours in some areas. It was a summer when it truly looked as though New York might have had it."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Haberman, NYT, pg. B1

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"Who can say that New York is more than a flick of a Con Edison switch from fresh chaos?"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
(Haberman, NYT, pg. B1)

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"The looting and arson . . . accounted for almost one half of the total economic costs associated with the blackout"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Sugarman, pg. 44

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A large financial burden was experienced by Con Edison itself in recovering from the blackout. The company reports revenue losses and other restoration costs to be nearly $10 million, in addition to overtime payments during the recovery period of nearly $2 million. New capital equipment and installation costs for prevention of future incidents currently total almost $65 million"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Sugarman, pg. 44

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"The police at first sent large forces to guard the major expensive shopping areas of downtown Manhattan and left the smaller local shopping areas with little or no protection. When the looting went rampant in local section of the city, the media labeled the perpetrators as 'savages' and 'animals' and demanded maximum court action"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Sugarman, pg. 44-45

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"The looting that occured during the blackout actually was quite similar to that experienced during civil disorders"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Sugarman, pg. 45

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"During the blackout, some 1,037 fires occurred and were attributable primarily to arson. The number of alarms totaled 2,780, compared with a normal average of 1,274 during a 25-hour period. This rapid increase in the number of alarms, coupled with an abnormal number of large-scale fires, had to be handled by a fire force substantially reduced because of limited overall resources"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Sugarman, pg. 45

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"Con Ed's performance is, at the very best, gross negligence--and, at the worst, far more serious" Mayor Abraham Beame

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 12

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"To Abe Beame, and countless other New Yorkers of all races, it was 'a night of terror'"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 12

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"Looters looked on anything movable as desirable boodle. Police caught one man in Bedford Stuyvesant with 300 sink stoppers and another with a case of clothespins. Two young boys were spotted carrying away an end table. 'Where'd you get that thing?' a cop shouted. 'My momma give it to me--you can have it,' said one of the kids as they dashed into a crowd that was happily watching a blazing furniture store"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 12

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"A number of looters were robbed in turn by other thieves, who clawed and wrenched away their booty. When two men in Bushwick wearily set down a heavy box of shoes, a band of youths swooped in like vultures and made off with the prize. A teen-age girl on Manhattan's upper West Side complained to friends that some boys had offered to help carry away clothes and radios, then had stolen them from her. Said she, 'That's just not right. They shouldn't have done that."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 17

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"At the Manhattan criminal court, some prisoners shouted protests against the heat and overcrowding. To handle the overflow, the city reopened the Tombs, a Manhattan jail that had been closed by federal court order in 1974 as too decrepit."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 21

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"How could a power system that many people thought was made fail-safe after the Northeast's great 1965 blackout plunge New York City into helpless darkness once again?"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Time, pg. 24

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"One hundred seven stories high over Manhattan, a group of diners at the World Trade Center's skyscraping restaurant Windows on the World down their digestifs, took a last glance at the stunning lightshow below, and crowded into a waiting down elevator. The doors slid shut. The elevator didn't budge. Somebody stabbed irritably at the button. Nothing happened. Somebody else got the doors open and the passengers free. 'The elevator's out," one of them huffily informed a white-jacketed captain. The captain shrugged toward the nightscape outside, gone suddenly inky black. 'So's New York," he replied."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pg. 17

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"On a muggy, dog-day evening last week, a vagrant summer storm knocked out high-voltage power lines in the near New York exurbs--and within the hour returned 9 million people to the dark, heat and disquiet of a pre-electric age." "For the 25 hours it lasted, it stopped commerce, stymied transportation, blackened the night, sheltered the lawless, turned high rises into prisons, made water a luxury and air conditioning a nostalgic memory. And it underscored once again the fragility of urban America in the last quarter of the twentieth century--a state of dependency so total that a burst of lightning could shut down the nation's largest city as surely and nearly as completely as a neutron bomb."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pg. 18

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"The arrest count exploded to a staggering 3,776 before the police largely gave up trying to collar the pillagers and concentrated on containing them. Two looter died. More than 400 cops were hurt. The fire department was swamped with alarms--true and false. The jails were flooded to overflowing--so badly that the city had to reopen the condemned old prison known for its bleak-house aspect and its medieval living conditions as the Tombs."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pgs. 18-9

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"The disaster, wherever the blame lay, was nearly total--as if, thought one visiting businessman riding in from LaGuardia Airport, someone just blew out a candle all over the city."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pg. 19

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"The plague of violence was still in progress when the city began looking for someone to blame--and settled on the proximate target. Consolidated Edison, the giant utility that powers New York and its Westchester County suburbs. Con Ed faulted "an act of God" for the blackout--four separate lightning strikes that hit its feeder lines in upper Westchester in less than an hour and set a chain reaction of switch-offs cascading southward to the city. But Mayor Beame, heating to a boil through the long delays at getting New York working again, called Con Edison's performance "at the very least gross negligence--and," he added opaquely, "at the worst something far more serious." In one bitter passage, he proposed that the utility's chairman, Charles F. Luce, be hanged; instead, he settled for a multiplicity of city, state and Federal investigations--the latter ordered on the spot by Jimmy Carter and begun with the unspoken premise that there might be something to Beame's charge of negligence."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pg. 19

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"'At 9:30 the lights went out,' recalled a weary, disheveled cop at the 81st Precinct house in Brooklyn. 'At 9:40 they were breaking into stores. A woman called in and told me, ''They're coming across Bushwick Avenue like buffalo''"

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Newsweek, pg. 23

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"In our view, the main cause of the violence was the serious national economic decline that has created exceedingly high levels of unemployment and high prices for food and other necessary goods, and has substantially worsened the living standards of the poor."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Blackout Looting!, pg. 183

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"But while the looters suffered intolerably high rates of unemployment, to call them 'hungry' does not accurately describe the nature of their plight." "What the looting did seem to say was that the issue is a more general, spiritual kind of hunger, deeply felt by citizens of the ghetto because they simply lack the goods, the material things, and the power to consume is what is thoroughly emphasized by the media in our society."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Blackout Looting!, pg. 184

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"Everybody was going down Pitkin Avenue. People from all over was down there. Everybody just walkin' and talkin'. We went down to this gift shop and they just started getting shit and then they broke. We broke into the stereo shop, getting stereos and what not. You get whatever you can carry, whatever you could carry. The first trip we didn't have any plan or nothing. The second time we tried to get everything home. That's when the police starting coming."

The full text from which this excerpt was taken is available in the archive:
Interviewee quoted in Blackout Looting!, pg. 189

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jts{27 June 2000}