Nevada Appeal at 150: March 8, 1970: Eclipse awes millions; except for one gray fox

Eclipse awes millions; except for one gray fox

Majestically, the moon moved across the face of the sun Saturday, the sky darkened and a great shadow swept the earth. Millions looked up in awe.

From the Pacific to the North Atlantic, through Mexico, eastern edges of the United States, through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, the shadow marked the path of the total eclipse of the sun.

Sea birds flew inland in flocks on Nantucket Island, as at dusk.

Rockets rose form the darkness of Wallops island, Va., into a midday sky dotted with stars as scientists sought answers to solar mysteries.

At Virginia Beach, Va., and other areas with the 85-mile-wide shadow of total eclipse the temperature dropped suddenly as the warm rays of the sun were blocked.

And deep in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, birds stopped chirping and the swamp became still. Paul Johnson, a state ranger in the swamp, watched a gray fox curl up and go to sleep on the bank of a stream, “something the fox wouldn’t do in the middle of the day.”

Skies were clear long much of the line of totality, especially in Mexico, at Wallops Island, Va., on Nantucket Island off the Massachusetts coast, affording a once in a lifetime experience for residents of these areas.

There won’t be another total eclipse of comparable duration in or near the United States until 2024.

The partial phases of the eclipse, depending on local weather conditions, could be seen by countless other millions throughout almost all of North America, throughout Central America, from the southwestern edge of South America.

In many cities, people were seen peering up at the sky without filters; despite repeated warning that direct observation of the sun during the eclipse could produce serious eye damage, perhaps even blindness.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.


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