On this day in history, August 14, 2003... The Northeastern United States and parts of Canada near the Great Lakes experienced one of the largest blackouts in history. With 9/11 fresh in the minds of New Yorkers, people first assumed that the cause was terrorist related. Though the official account blames a downed power line in Ohio and a general unpreparedness by utility companies, questions remain regarding the cause and why the blackout encompassed such a large area. The event demonstrated how ill-prepared North America was in its response to a disaster related to the power grid.