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.

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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.

Guess there’s no stoplights on bridges, anyway?

Train commuters, meanwhile, were shit outta luck.

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

Fuck it—candlelit dinner at the Automat it is.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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Lead image via Getty; all other images via AP.