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The blackout occurred when the city was facing a severe financial crisis and its residents were 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. (The city at the time was in the middle of a brutal heat wave). Still others pointed out 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. However, the 1977 looters continued their damage into the daylight hours, with police on alert.