In Pictures: Archive Photos Show Scenes From the 1977 New York City Blackout

Forty-two years ago, lightning cut power to almost all of the city. For two days, New Yorkers were in the dark. The Son of Sam killer was still out there. There was looting. And vandalism. And there were heroes. Here's a look back at the dramatic scenes.

51 photos
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Light-colored facing on the World Trade Center makes it stand out from the blackened New York City skyline after a power failure struck the city, July 13, 1977. Lightning striking a power station is blamed for the blackout. (AP Photo/LM)
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The darkened Manhattan skyline is seen from Brooklyn after the city was hit by a power failure, July 13, 1977. Bright spot at left is the Statue of Liberty; at right is a ship in harbor and a few building lights are on in places with their own auxiliary power. (AP Photo/PB)
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People at Chapman's Restaurant in midtown Manhattan continue their drinking by candlelight after New York City had a blackout, July 13, 1977. All of New York City and its boroughs were blacked out, as was much of the area surrounding the city. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
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Diners at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan dine by candlelight after a blackout hit New York City, July 13, 1977. The restaurant continued its business despite the power outage. (AP Photo/Calvin C. Cook)
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A young man directs traffic in midtown Manhattan, July 13, 1977, after New York City was hit by a major power blackout. (AP Photo)
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People huddle against the information kiosk in New York's Grand Central Station, July 14, 1977 after being stranded by a power failure in the city.
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Light-colored facing on the World Trade Center makes it stand out from the blackened New York City skyline after a power failure struck the city, July 13, 1977. Lightning striking a power station is blamed for the blackout. (AP Photo/LM)
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Looters in Manhattan’s Harlem section reach past a bent security gate to ransack the window of a shoe store in New York on Thursday, July 14, 1977. A massive power failure in the metropolitan New York area led to acts of vandalism in some parts of the city. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey)
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Firemen fight a blaze above a row of looted stores in New York's Brooklyn borough, July 14, 1977, the day after the power failure. The stores were looted during the blackout. (AP Photo)
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A street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn is full of people and debris, July 14, 1977 following the massive blackout in New York City. (AP Photo)
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A man reaches through the shattered windows of a looted jewelry store on Utica Ave., in Brooklyn during New York City's electrical power failure, Thursday, July 14, 1977. Looters ripped the steel gratings away from the windows. (AP Photo)
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Owners and employees of a sporting goods store stand guard outside with baseball bats after the store on New York City's Upper West Side was looted during massive power failure, Wednesday night, July 13, 1977. Police patroling the area walk by the store. (AP Photo)
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Police control a crowd on a street in Harlem in the aftermath of a power outage in New York City, July 14, 1977. (AP Photo)
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People in a mid-town Manhattan bar keep drinking by candlelight in New York on Wednesday, July 13, 1977 after the city was struck by a power failure. (AP Photo/Steve Oualline)
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An A&P store with a destroyed front gate at 2298 Eighth Ave. at 124th St. Harlem is seen during the power failure in New York, July 13, 1977. (AP Photo)
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The World Trade Center stands out against a blackened New York City skyline after a power failure struck the city, July 14, 1977. Lightning striking a power station is blamed for the blackout. (AP Photo/LM)
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New York's Wall Street is deserted Thursday, July 14, 1977, after a massive power failure that lasted overnight from Wednesday forced the closing of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo)
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This aerial view shows the fires started by looters raging in Brooklyn during the electricity failure that blacked out New York City, Wednesday, July 13, 1977 . (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)
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The lights of lower Manhattan are dark as a result of an electrical power failure in this view from under the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday, July 13, 1977. One building at left is lit with emergency power and a stream of light comes from the headlights of moving vehicles on the FDR Drive and on the bridge. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)
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A lightning strike caused the two-day long blackout.
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A doctor uses a car battery to perform surgery during the blackout.
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In this picture, you can see a civilian helping to direct traffic.
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Two people are seen stuck in a dark subway station during the blackout.
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Looters can be seen leaving a New York City store during the blackout.
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Unrest captured in the city during the blackout.
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Arson and violence were prevalent during the two days without power.
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More than 3,700 arrests were made over the two days.
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The city faced an estimated $300 million in damages.
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The Statue of Liberty remained lit.
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This is a view of Flatbush Avenue, between Caton and Church Streets, in Brooklyn early Thursday, July 14, 1977, in the aftermath of looting and burning of stores during New York City's electrical power outage. (AP Photo)
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New cars stripped of parts are left on the street outside a car dealer in the New York borough of the Bronx, early Thursday, July 14, 1977. Looters pushed the car out of the show room and stripped them in the street. (AP Photo)
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This is a scene along Utica Ave., in Brooklyn during New York City's electrical power outage on Thursday, July 14, 1977. In one three-block length virtually every store had its windows smashed and its contents looted in the aftermath of the blackout July 13. (AP Photo)
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Firemen battle flames at a store in the Bronx borough of New York, one of many fires that broke out during the massive power failure that crippled the city for more than 24 hours, seen July 14, 1977. Firemen answered 1,500 alarms, 400 of which were actual fires. Forty of the fires were termed serious. (AP Photo)
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This is the aftermath of looting on 110th Street and Third Avenue in the East Harlem section of Manhattan, New York City during the power failure, July 14, 1977. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)
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Two men carry a chest down the street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, July 14, 1977, during the power failure that crippled New York. Police reported that looting in some areas of the city continued well into the daylight hours of Thursday. (AP Photo)
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An unidentified woman, carrying a bag, comes out of the window of a looted shop in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City on Sunday, July 16, 1977. (AP Photo/Leonardo LeGrand)
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With an overnight massive power failure in the New York metropolitan area that lasted into Thursday, the owner of this Manhattan coffee shop decided to take the day off and left behind a brief note, shown July 14, 1977. By (AP Photo)
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New York's Madison Avenue is devoid of traffic during the power failure that began Wednesday night, July 13, shown July 14, 1977. The street was normally wall-to-wall people and vehicles but in declaring a state of emergency Mayor Beame urged all who did not have vital business in the city to stay home. (AP Photo)
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Much of New York twinkles with light after electricity was restored in many areas, July 14, 1977, nearly a day after the massive power failure. About 90 percent of the city had electricity again. A small portion of midtown, foreground, was still waiting. Photo was made with a fisheye lens. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)
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Early rising couple in West New York, N.J., have a different view of the New York skyline at sunrise - no city lights, July 14, 1977. (AP Photo/Sandy Colton)
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Firemen battle flames in a store an intersection in the borough of the Bronx on Thursday, July 14, 1977. This is one of many fires that broke out during the massive power failure that crippled New York City for more than 24 hours. (AP Photo)
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The twin towers of the World Trade Center and the southern tip of Manhattan are plunged into near darkness as a massive power failure hits New York City and surrounding suburbs, July 13, 1977. The power failure was attributed to lightning which hit several upstate transmission cables. In contrast to the northeast's 1965 blackout, there was severe looting in parts of the affected region. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
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Mannequins lie strewn before broken clothing store windows, the refuse of looting that occurred along upper Broadway during power blackout in New York that began on Wednesday night, shown, July 14, 1977. (AP Photo/Cameron Bloch)
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People walk amid debris following looting at 110th St. and Third Avenue in upper Manhattan, New York City after the power failure, July 14, 1977. (AP Photo/Ira Schwarz)
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The owner of midtown Manhattan coin shop sits disconsolately in his doorway in New York on Thursday, July 14, 1977.
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A doorman on New York's Gramercy Park arms himself with a nightstick as a preventative measure following the blackout of New York, July 14, 1977.
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An inmate cleans up mess at the Bronx House of Detention in New York on Thursday, July 14, 1977. Corrections officials said inmates caused damage in three dormitories during the electric power failure that struck New York.
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A midtown, Manhattan restaurant moved its tables and customers to the sidewalk, July 14, 1977, after a massive power failure in New York City cut off electricity inside. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
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A lone cyclist pedals at leisure down New York's Fifth Avenue at about 4:30 P.M., July 14, 1977, a time the avenue usually is clogged with rush hour traffic.
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Commuters wait at empty ticket windows at Grand Central Station in New York City, early on July 14, 1977, as trains were canceled by the electric power failure that affected most public transportation in the city. (AP Photo/Carlos Rene Perez)
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The subway platform at 50th Street under Rockefeller Center was empty of travelers at 5 P.M., July 14, 1977, when it would normally be jammed with rush hour commuters.
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