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Eclipse Memories

Eclipse Memories

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of a memorable event. There was a total solar eclipse on July 20, 1963, along a narrow path that started at sunrise on the Japanese Island of Hokkaido and then rolled northeast across Alaska and then southeast through central and southern Canada, eventually passing across Maine and southern Nova Scotia before heading on out to sea. As a small child living in Maine, I remember the excitement of the day. For weeks, we were instructed to use special paper glasses with film to protect our eyes. We practiced holding the film to the sun. A few folks argued that the glasses weren’t necessary.

Ray Geiger, my dad and Farmers’ Almanac editor, was especially excited with this astronomical event of a century. So, he bought hundreds of special glasses and organized a viewing party. Boy, this was going to be good. Well, just before viewing, clouds rolled in and we missed it all. This Peanuts cartoon reminds me of why I only view eclipses on TV.

When I start to recall things that happened 50 years ago, it is a sad reminder that, yes, I am getting old. Does anyone else remember the eclipse of July 20, 1963?

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  • John Jarou says:

    hi ray. i remember the day very well. went to the lake with my dad and my cousin. have memories of it being a very strange day. i was 9 years old.

  • Marie Phillips- Mulligan says:

    Hello Ray,Yes I remember the Solar Eclipse in 1963.I was 11 at the time and my dad was so excited..He had our family all outside waiting for the big moment.And for the record…were all getting old and its ok!!

  • Diane Gauthier says:

    Hi Ray! I remembered seeing the Solar Eclipse in 1963. I was 8 years old. I thought it was so interesting. I saw it in Ontario, Canada.

    Diane

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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