Great photos of the 1977 New York power cut

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New York in the 1970s was a very different place to the clean, safe city we know today. With the ‘white flight’ to the suburbs and the decimation of the Bronx thanks to the urban planning of Robert Moses, it was in crisis. The city was also broke and riddled by crime, especially violent crime. 
 
So, when on July 13, 1977, storms brought down the city’s power supply, it was no surprise that New York’s residents and workers went, well, a bit nuts. Commuters got drunk in hotel lounges, families lit candles and for once took their eyes away from their televisions, and seeminly everyone else went looting. 
 
If you’ve seen Spike Lee’s Summer Of Sam, you’ll be aware just how much crime took place on that night. According to reports, 1,616 stores – mostly in poor districts –  were damaged in a night of mayhem, with 3,776 people arrested, the largest mass incarceration in the city’s history. 
 
The power went back on the following night, but by then New York’s reputation as a city out of control, and apart from the rest of the country was sealed. The federal government would later give it $11m of public money for repairs, but it would take years for the city to truly recover. 
 







Great photos of the 1977 New York power cut Comments












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