venerdì 5 dicembre 2008

New York City blackout of 1977.

The New York City Blackout of 1977 was an electricity blackout that affected New York City from July 13, 1977 to July 14, 1977.
Unlike other blackouts that affected the region, namely the Northeast Blackout of 1965 and the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the 1977 blackout was localized to New York City and the immediate surroundings. It resulted in city-wide looting and other disorder, including arson.


The blackout came at a low point in the city's history, with New York facing a severe financial crisis and fretting over the Son of Sam murders. The nation as a whole was suffering from a protracted economic downturn and commentators have contrasted the event with the good-natured Where were you when the lights went out? atmosphere of 1965. Some pointed to the financial crisis as a root cause of the disorder, others noted the hot July weather. Still others noted that the 1977 blackout came after businesses had closed and their owners went home, while in 1965 the blackout occurred during the day and owners stayed to protect their property.
Looting and vandalism were widespread especially in the African American and Puerto Rican communities, hitting thirty-one neighborhoods, including every poor neighborhood in the city. Among the hardest hit were Crown Heights where seventy-five stores on a five-block stretch were looted, and Bushwick where arson was rampant with some 25 fires still burning the next morning. At one point two blocks of Broadway, which separates Bushwick from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, were on fire. Thirty-five blocks of Broadway were destroyed: 134 stores looted, 45 of them set ablaze.



Looting of electronics stores during the blackout allowed a number of kids to obtain DJ equipment. As a result, the Hip Hop genre, barely known outside of The Bronx, grew at an astounding rate from 1977 onwards. Here, South Bronx DJ Grand Wizzard Theodore (right) who invented the art of record scratching, poses with a fan wearing a 1977 blackout t-shirt.

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