35 Years Ago, New York City Blacks Out

On a muggy dog-day evening last week, a vagrant summer storm knocked out high-voltage power lines in the near New York exurbs—and within the hour returned 9 million people to the dark, heat and disquiet of a pre-electric age … And it underscored once again the fragility of urban American in the last quarter of the twentieth century—a state of dependence so total that a burst of lightning could shut down the nation’s largest city as surely and nearly as completely as a neutron bomb.

Newsweek, July, 25, 1977