Eclipse of the (Almost) Century

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, people in the Talawanda School District were just a few of the millions that were watching The Great American Solar Eclipse. It was estimated that anywhere from 1.85 to 7.4 million people traveled to see the path of totality on the eclipse day. South Carolina was estimated to bring in 547,00 all the way up to 2 million visitors. All of the states that were in the path of totality were overwhelmed with tourists that had a very positive effect on businesses in the area.

Hopkinsville Kentucky has a population of 32,000 people and brought in nearly 100,000 visitors that generated 30 million plus dollars in economic impact. In all, the eclipse brought in a profitable amount of tourism for the modest town.

Mt. Juliet in Tennessee had a Solar Eclipse Party with food trucks, vendors, field day fun as well as other activities the park had to offer. There were both free admission, and merchandise that read “I survived the Mt. Juliet Eclipse.”

More locally in Cincinnati, Thomas More College had an Eclipse Watch. 700 free approved glasses were handed out to ensure safe enjoyment of the eclipse.

Typically, solar eclipses in the U.S. are only visible to a small portion of the population.  Monday, however, The Great American Solar Eclipse revealed itself to all 323.1 million people across the country.  According to, in the last century, there have only been fifteen total eclipses visible from somewhere in the United States.  Of the fifteen, only two could be seen from everywhere on this part of the continent.  The two occurred nearly 100 years apart on June 8, 1908, and this past Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.  

According to Lucinda Shen from Time Science Magazine, in seven years, on April 8, 2024, another total eclipse will blot out the sun along a path from Texas to the northeast corner of the United States. The Miami Valley will be directly in the band of totality, and until then, we will patiently await the going of the sun and  coming of the moon.  

Photo by Charis Whalen