Total solar eclipses are a pretty rare thing in Maine. For many Mainers, the upcoming total eclipse will be the first they have seen or may ever see.

According to Great American Eclipse, there will be 224 solar eclipses in the 21st century. Of those, 68 are total eclipses, 73 are annular solar eclipses, seven are hybrids of total and annular solar eclipses, and 77 are partial solar eclipses.

Things get even more rare when you look at how many total solar eclipses have been or will be visible in Maine over almost 150 years. Just three!

There was a total eclipse on August 31, 1932, and July 20, 1963. Then there's the upcoming one on April 8, 2024, and another near the end of the century on May 1, 2079.

Americans are super excited to see this rare event, but were they just as excited 60 years ago during the 1963 total eclipse? This newsreel footage from the era shows that the hype was big then, too.

Here's the path of totality in 1963, further south than the April 8, eclipse will be. It shows totality passing over the towns of Jackman, Greenville, Dexter, Newport, Bangor, Bucksport, and Ellsworth.

Public Domain
Public Domain

The newsreel reports that the next total eclipse in the U.S. would be on March 7, 1970. However, that total eclipse did not pass over Maine.

The technology back then to cover a solar eclipse wasn't even close to what we have at our disposal today. In 1963, color TV was just beginning to become affordable for family homes.

The excitement is building to see this once-in-a-lifetime event. How excited are you?

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