Witnessing Three Total Solar Eclipses in My Lifetime

Saturday, March 7, 1970 I was 14 years old and playing trombone in my junior high school’s orchestra/stage band. That day our school was competing in the state school band contest held in Miami and afterward having lunch at a Swedish buffet restaurant named Sweden House Smorgasbord. We got off the bus in the restaurant parking lot and watched the first total solar eclipse seen in North America in our lifetime. Some of us had film we looked through and some had built pinhole projectors out of cardboard boxes.

Newspaper headline from March 7, 1970 predicting the 2024 total solar eclipse.Not sure why this 1970 newspaper headline only mentions the next one as being in 2024, since there was one in 1979 and one in 2017. But it was pretty neat to see this year’s eclipse being predicted 54 years ago!

I missed getting to see the next total solar eclipse that touched American soil in 1979, but did get to see the following one in 2017.

By the way, here’s a list of all the total solar eclipses that have occurred over the United States since such occurrences were officially recorded.

Now, barring dismal weather or my untimely discorporation, I’ll get to see the third North American total solar eclipse in my lifetime next Monday, April 8, 2024. Cindy and I have planned for two years to be where we’re at now (Canyon Lake, Texas) so we could be in the path of totality.

Which is good, because the odds aren’t in my favor that I’ll be around for the next one a little over 20 years from now on August 23, 2044.

But who knows…?

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4 Responses to Witnessing Three Total Solar Eclipses in My Lifetime

  1. Heather T says:

    You’ll have to see the next one in the UK! I think it’s only a few years away. All the more adventure. 🙂

  2. AnnMarie says:


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