On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour

Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour

On this day in 1965, the lights went out all over the Northeastern U.S., including New York City, where it conveniently hit right as many were leaving work.

Advertisement

As the New York Times explained in the wake of the 2003 blackout, the events of 1965 would long be contrasted with the experiences of a decade later, in the infamous 1977 blackout. “The first blackout instantly became an emblem of civic spunk and resilience, the second of civic disarray and uncertainty at a time of overwhelming municipal budget woes, economic deterioration, and fear caused by a serial killer known as Son of Sam,” the Times said.

The must-have shot of 1965: Shockingly orderly automobile traffic lighting up the night. Ah, the lackadaisical driving-safety attitudes of the midcentury.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour

Guess there’s no stoplights on bridges, anyway?

Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour

Train commuters, meanwhile, were shit outta luck.

Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour
Advertisement

Personally I never wear pumps, just in case I have to climb a ladder in the dark.

Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour
Advertisement

Fuck it—candlelit dinner at the Automat it is.

Illustration for article titled On This Day in 1965, The Lights Went Off in New York City--Just in Time for Rush Hour
Advertisement

Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Lead image via Getty; all other images via AP.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

theghostofjimmadison
The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

According to my parents, I was conceived during the 1965 blackout. The timing is right, so who knows?

I’m just old enough to remember the ’77 blackout, which was an utter shitshow.