Author Topic: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.  (Read 3669 times)

Offline 68jk09

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38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« on: July 14, 2015, 06:47:57 PM »
Tonight Tues 7-14-15 at 2100 hrs PBS will air a show on the '77 Blackout that happened 38 yrs ago last night...... www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/blackout/player/

« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:35:56 AM by 68jk09 »

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38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« on: July 14, 2015, 06:47:57 PM »

Offline LoadingUptheBox

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Re: 38th Anniversary TV Show of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 08:51:55 PM »
Good find. Thanks for sharing.

Ok so let's start a "where were you when the lights went out?" Thread.  I'll lead off: I was 12 and was in my parents bedroom in our Upper West Side apartment watching their small black and white TV. A Don Rickles TV show called "CPO Sharkey" was on.  For some reason that fact sticks out in my memory.  It was obviously hot so we opened all the windows. On our second floor corner apartment.  One side overlooked Central Park and the other side looked up a side street which could only be described as "ghetto".  Later that evening there was a good job up that block in a drug infested 20x50 that were all over the city during that miserable period.  It went to at least an All Hands and probably went to a 2-2. But hey I was 12 so everything was big then to me.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 05:45:03 PM by FDNY75VA »
Raised in the Upper West Side (near E76/TL22); Hopeless FDNY Buff/Photographer; 12-year USAF Vet; Member, Chancellor Vol. Fire-Rescue, Spotsylvania County, VA (cvfr.net) and Richmond (VA) Vol Rescue Squad

Offline FDNY793727

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Re: 38th Anniversary TV Show of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 10:21:02 PM »
Can't answer that question, wasn't even born yet ;D. Just here to say the video can be watched on the PBS website in full: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/blackout/player/

There are also a few short clips with additional video on the PBS American Experience Youtube page (plus other interesting videos): https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanExperience/videos

Offline 68jk09

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 02:56:48 AM »
On Broadway in BKLYN from 2230 hrs that night until around 1030 hrs the next day....several Jobs one after the other......On July 13 back in 1977 around 2130 hrs the lights went out & accompanying widespread looting & arson commenced & went unchecked thru the night & into the next day......sporadic looting & Fires continued for at least a week ..... many business's that now had been totally looted continued to be set on Fire just for sport culminating a week later in a 10 Alarm Fire in Bushwick which was started in an abandoned factory & resulted in the destruction of numerous occupied stores & dwellings .....on the original night of The Blackout i spent 12 straight hours fighting Fires along Broadway in Bklyn....the end result was the total destruction of numerous blocks that had been thriving business's .....most of the area to this day has never recovered.....looters were so intent on getting what they could that for the most part we had no direct incidents w/them .....the Police were severely overtaxed & spread very thin.....i remember one furniture store on Broadway around Gates Ave that had PD guarding the front & looters using a small back door to remove furniture....they were so brazen that they simply dismantled items inside then brought the pieces thru the small door & just sat there on the sidewalk assembling them w/out a care in the world....early on before the Bus traffic was halted (because of the lawless mobs but more so because the streets were quickly becoming impassable due to material & Fire apparatus) there were groups who had chains that they would attach to a closed security gate on a store then when a Bus slowly passed thru the crowd they would attach it to the Bus pulling the gate off thus gaining access to another store.....at one Fire in a heavily involved Butcher Shop that we were operating in LAD*112 who was assigned the floor above gave us an Urgent message about an extremely heavy load on the floor above ....the apt above was filled front to rear w/brand new refrigerators that had been stashed there earlier in the night ....we went to several other Fires one after another until the next afternoon ......at some Jobs there might be only one or two LADs & no Eng so we would just stretch off a nearby ENG that was operating at another Job close by ..... as far as the eye could see up & down Broadway there were Units ( some from as far away as Staten Island ) operating & almost wall to wall people/looters .....this was part of my night/day .....similar scenes were repeated in many other areas thru out certain sections of the City.....it was a long time ago but sometime it seems like yesterday.......  http://blackout.gmu.edu/events/tl1977.html
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 11:39:31 PM by 68jk09 »

Offline 68jk09

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 07:27:16 AM »
I was in Rockaway that night, the only place in the city that had lights.

Offline fdce54

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 08:59:12 AM »
I was on vacation in Santa Monica staying with friends the night of the blackout. Early the morning of the 14th my buddy who was getting ready to go to work woke me up to tell me there was a blackout in New York and there were fires all over the city. Well I got up and turned on the news and they were showing a tape of a fire in the Bronx in a row of stores that morning. As the camera scanned the fire, it zoomed in on the street sign on the corner and it was Morris Ave and 183 St. My parents lived only a few blocks away on University Ave north of 183 St. I called home and mom told me of a night of never ending sirens and smoke. I told her it was time for them to move. And they did but not until 1982.

Offline svd385

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 09:49:46 AM »
Was at the volunteer fire house in harding park.  Since the normal city units (e96/L54, E64/L47, E94/L48) . were extra busy with the various projects in their response areas as well as the large amounts of store fronts we basically remained in the area.
I'm not sure if life's trying to pass me by or run me over

Offline CVILLE 7111

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 11:58:49 AM »
I was riding with 110 Truck that night.  We were out getting the meal when the blackout hit.  I remember the LT saying "Let's get back to quarters and try to eat something.  We may not get another chance!"  He was right.  25+ runs, several jobs later.................

Offline nfd2004

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 01:25:56 PM »
 It was at the height of the FDNY War Years. Each year building up to 1977, the fires and runs had been steadily increasing since the late 60s. I was at work at a firehouse in Connecticut and the guys knew how I would buff the FDNY. One guy said to me, "hey, check this out, the lights went out in New York City". It came  over as a special news report. I had remembered the Blackout of 1965 (that went beyond NYC) which I believe happened on a November night. Then nine months later there was a "Baby Boom".

  This Blackout of 1977 would be different though. For one thing it was a very hot, humid July night. In New York City there had been a decade of heavy fire activity already. Many neighborhoods had changed over during those 12 years, from "working class people" to "welfare collecting people". They took this Blackout, 1977 as an opportunity to steal and loot. Some of the first places to be looted and set on fire were package stores. That according to the book called "Blackout Looting". Then came appliance and food stores. I remember one person looting and interviewed by the news media. His words to the newsman was "it was a gift from God", referring to the lights going out and stealing.

  The next morning like "fdce54" says, I saw that job on Morris Ave and 183 St also. As a buff, I knew the area well.

  As a buff, I had been frequenting the Bushwick area of Brooklyn because of a huge increase in fire activity over the earlier couple of years. From the FDR Drive, I would cross over the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn and follow Broadway out. I was able to go down there the day after the Blackout of 1977 was over. I had never seen anything like it. And I still haven't. Stores with security gates ripped completely off. There were blocks of burned out businesses, one right after another, some still smoldering. Spoiled food flowing down the rivers on both sides of Broadway from the water used to fight the fires. A few rigs still on the scene flowing water.

  As I remember, once the Blackout '77 started, it went on for 25 hours. Fires and looting just continued through out the day and into the next night.

  Then I think it was less than two weeks after when the FDNY members caught a major Boro Call that started around Knickerbocker/Gates Ave (?). That fire destroyed about 30 - 40 buildings from three story row frames to a large factory and a church.

  In addition to this there was the Serial Killer called "Son of Sam" roaming the New York City streets.

  There has never been anything that I can remember where there was so much damage and there were so many fires, as during the Blackout of 1977 in New York City. "Completely out of control" would be putting it quite mildly.

 

Offline 68jk09

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 08:19:44 PM »
42 YEARS AGO.

Offline memory master

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 06:34:57 AM »
42 YEARS AGO.
As the Dells once sang, "Oh What A Night"

Offline JOR176

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2019, 10:08:30 PM »
working nights for the NY Telephone Co.

Offline lucky

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2019, 11:16:33 PM »
It is hard to believe but we actually ran out of six foot hooks in ladder 112 by the end of the next day. We had to go around begging for them from surrounding units.

Offline BoroCall

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Re: 38th Anniversary of the '77 Blackout.
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 03:02:39 PM »
I was living in AZ & watched on TV.