50 year anniversary of 1965 blackout

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FILE - In this Nov. 10, 1965, file photo, front pages of newspapers in London tell the story of the massive power failure that plunged the northeastern Unites States and parts of Ontario, Canada, into darkness, Nov. 9, 1965.(AP Photo/File)

At 5:27 p.m. on Nov. 9, 1965, the northeastern United States and parts of Canada plunged into near darkness during a massive power failure. It was the first time the U.S. had seen a blackout of such large proportion.

Tens of millions of people in eight states were impacted by the electrical outage that occurred at the height of the evening commute.  In New York City, hundreds of thousands of subway riders became trapped in train cars while others were stranded in building elevators.

Grand Central became a temporary bedroom for commuters who could not get home.

It was soon established that problems with the electrical grid caused the blackout, the first large-scale realization of infrastructure worries that would resurface in major blackouts in 1977 and again in 2003. 

The great blackout ended when the power came back on at 3:35 a.m. the next day.

With the Associated Press