On July 13th, 1977, the lights of New York City suddenly went dark – leaving its inhabitants in a state of confusion and fear. This rare event was brought about by three fatal lightning strikes that caused the power systems to fail completely; something which had never been seen before in the city. The blackout lasted for over 12 hours and affected millions of people across the city and its distinct areas.
The darkness that consumed New York had far reaching consequences, with chaos erupting all around. Petty crimes to violence occurred, as those who suffered economically under the economic downturn saw an opportunity to cash-in on their misfortune. Over 30 neighbourhoods were hit by crime waves, with 1 037 fires needing to be responded to in the following morning. Despite businesses being closed at this time, looters still managed to test their luck.
In order for us to better understand what happened during this time, American Experience has created a documentary entitled ‘Blackout’; one which examines the stories from those who experienced it firsthand. It looks into not only what caused it but also how it changed the city – and its people – forever.
If you wish to know more about this event then watching ‘Blackout’ is essential viewing – not just for those who lived through it but also for those looking for a more detailed account of this extraordinary occurrence. With unprecedented access to eye-witnesses, original footage and reenactment scenes, this harrowing documentary will transport you back in time and show you exactly why this night will live forever in infamy throughout New York City’s history.