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This Day in History, 1965: Northeast Blackout

Forty years ago today, the northeastern United States and parts of Canada were hit by a series of blackouts that lasted for about thirteen hours. Around 30 million people lost power during that time.

The blackout started at 5:16 PM when a single line of the Niagara generating station tripped. Because it started in the middle of rush hour, millions of commuters were delayed on their way home. Close to 800,000 people were trapped in the subways of New York City.

Another major blackout hit New York City in 1977. In 2003, much of the northeastern United States and Canada was again hit by a blackout. Most of New England, however, managed to remain unaffected, as after 1965 Massachusetts had ordered the power companies to build a series of switches that could isolate New England in the event of another major blackout.

References:
Wikipedia: Northeast Blackout of 1965
Disasters: Northeast Blackout of 1965
This Day in History
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Comments

My parents first date was supposed to be on the day of the blackout in 1965. In fact, my dad was on the way to pick up mom when the lights went out.

Fortunately, they didn't take this as an omen or I wouldn't be here. :)
Hee. I was reading the first paragraph and thought you had a typo on the date. Then you mentioned the more recent blackout.

"This has all happened before..."
In 1965, I was a month old. My mother's friend was down from Connecticut, and stayed over since the trains weren't running.

In 1977, I was at camp - we heard about it on the radio.

In 2003, thank God I was working at home, so no long trip on foot & bus.

(Anonymous)

The '65 blackout was the only mega-blackout I was part of. I was 8 and my father drove us to the local drug store to buy new flashlight batteries. We took a photo from inside the darkened drug store (which stayed open until its usual time).

I lived in Pittsburgh in '77 and '03 so I was unaffected by both of them.

Even after hurricane Gloria 20 years ago last September, we only went without power for about 6 hours. The power came on just before the premiere of the new Twilight Zone (the first time I ever saw Bruce Willis in anything - Ellison's fine Shatterday adaptation). Some of our friends who lived closer to Boston were without power for about a week!
Interesting story. Who is this?
The '65 blackout was the only mega-blackout I was part of. I was 8 and my father drove us to the local drug store to buy new flashlight batteries. We took a photo from inside the darkened drug store (which stayed open until its usual time).

I lived in Pittsburgh in '77 and '03 so I was unaffected by both of them.

Even after hurricane Gloria 20 years ago last September, we only went without power for about 6 hours. The power came on just before the premiere of the new Twilight Zone (the first time I ever saw Bruce Willis in anything - Ellison's fine Shatterday adaptation). Some of our friends who lived closer to Boston were without power for about a week!
Ah. That's who it was....
My uncle was at Harvard Dental at the time, and he had power in his dorm b/c he tapped into the generator of the hospital next door... (He's a bit of a mad-scientist type.) :-)
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