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It was just 80 years ago today, May 18, 1942, when the lights around New York City’s baseball fields went out, and the rest of the city would follow suit. That’s right, this meant no nighttime games, and in fact, if any games (which there were a few) went into the twilight hours, they were simply called then and there. The reason for this, was perhaps a fear of German planes, though that was far from reality.
In fact, it was the U-boat menace, a very real threat to the U.S. coast line, as shrewd German commanders would use the gleam of city lights to attack their victims, the American and allied merchant ships. And so, the lights went out, and baseball, and everything else, remained a daytime occupation, for it was at night that the wolves hunted, and our brave shepherds, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, battled it out against the very real threat of submarine attacks. 80 years ago today, “Lights Out” was more than just a saying.
What was happening yesterday, on May 17th?