For Both Its City and Its People, Philadelphia’s Eclipse Heritage Runs Deep.
If you promised to be more enlightened in 2024, Monday was not the day for you.

Monday was the first total solar eclipse over Philadelphia and the eastern US in nearly forty years. We won’t see an eclipse like this again until 2044. And did you invest in those proprietary glasses?

You know, the ones that prevented you from burning your corneas and that you’ll no doubt forget that are in the garage when next you need them in 2044?

Damn, damn, and well — damn.

Through the centuries, eclipses have touched almost every part of human history.

An eclipse was documented during a looming conflict in Turkey in 585 BC that saved two nations from going to war and opted for peace instead. It is possible that an eclipse in 1178 BC may perhaps be the same one in Homer’s Odyssey. During British King Henry’s death in 1133 AD, witnesses also mentioned an eclipse.

Photo: Wiki Commons

In Philadelphia during the American Revolution, an eclipse happened just days before the Battle of Monmouth. General George Washington actually passed the word to his army about the eclipse that was coming, which became the motivation for the Americans to be propelled to be victorious.

The eclipse was observed the eclipse from Philadelphia itself by famous people such as Dr. William Smith and David Rittenhouse.


In August of 2017 — as the skies above the Novacare Complex darkened between meetings and practices at Eagles Training Camp in the early afternoon — Philadelphia players and staff took some time to view the eclipse through a telescope with protective glasses.

Last October — during a lunar eclipse — and about ten miles outside of Philadelphia — the darkened skies did not stop Villanova from defeating Elon 21–0. Across the state, a brief darkening of the skies propelled Penn State to a 63–0 romp against UMass.

While Philadelphia’s skyline was darkened by the impending eclipse, another important event took place.
Martin Luther King High School’s undefeated Varsity Baseball record was on the line when it hosted Saul in Philadelphia.
The first pitch aligned almost perfectly with Philadelphia’s path of totality — 3:15 P.M.


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