Categorized | News

Fifty Years Ago Today…

Virginia’s Last Total Solar Eclipse!

Today, March 7, 2020, the moon is almost full. But fifty years ago the moon was new. The seminal event of my youth occurred: The Total Solar Eclipse of March 7, 1970.

Here are a few articles on the eclipse:

From today’s Richmond Times Dispatch:

50 years ago, eastern Va. had total solar eclipse

Fifty years ago, a total solar eclipse passed over eastern Virginia on March 7, 1970. Norfolk was in the path of totality, but the sun was 98% obscured over Richmond. Parts of Hampton Roads will see another total eclipse in 2078. Richmond must wait until 2099.

A couple more gems from the Internet vault:

Coverage on the radio from Raleigh NC (outside of the zone of totality – Virginia Beach WAS within the zone and so was my grandmother’s house. But we were not for logistic and financial reasons to go to Jacksonville NC to see the eclipse. I had to watch this eclipse on television.

Here is an archive of photographs from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

And here is a TV video. Walter Cronkite was the anchor; Venus and Mercury became visible during the totality. I observed a thirty minute TV show that Saturday AM. Here is the CBS show I watched. (For the kids in my readership, this ought to startle them into appreciation into today’s technology.

The amazing thing is that the sun is about 400 times further away from the Earth and is also about 400 times larger in diameter. Hence each object appears to be the same diameter in the sky. And a total eclipse is a wonder to see. I recommend (I did get to see two such eclipses, 1991 in Hawai’i and 1994 in Paraguay) people who did not get that chance to see the 2017 one (I was clouded out in South Carolina) to try again. Chile 2020 and USA again on April 8, 2024.

But be warned: Seeing a total solar eclipse (and you can look at the eclipse ONLY during totality) might give you a different kind of coronavirus!

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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