The Day NYC Stood Still
On November 9th 1965 at 5:27 the lights went out and New York City experienced its first major blackout that also affected the Northeast coast and parts of Canada. All electricity shut down. People were trapped in elevators. Back-up generators had to be used at hospitals.
Paula was working as a secretary on the 20th floor of a mid-town office building that housed a lot of actor’s agents and managers.
Dozens of employees at the various offices wondered out to the dark elevator lobbies and debated what was the best course of action. Some people started to panic. Suddenly a tall dark figure at the end of the hall took charge and in a reassuring English accent told everyone to stay calm and follow his instructions. He led the group down the stairways and made sure everyone got safely to the street.
Paula approached the tall stranger to thank him. She then noticed that the man was the actor Michael Rennie. This was the very actor that played the alien Klaatu from the 1951 sci-fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. As you may recall Klaatu— in a show of his resolve—shut all power off across the globe.
The irony of the situation was not lost upon Paula and they joked about the situation. Renne assured her that he had nothing to do with the current situation.
With a laugh Paula turned and joined the throng on the street and headed home
in the dark.