Do You Remember the SC Total Eclipse of 1970?

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The upcoming total solar eclipse is behind described as a "once-in-a-lifetime" event. And for most, it will be. 

But for some Midlands residents, this will be the second time around for the rare event.

Back on March 7, 1970, thousands in the Midlands were in the path of totality, just like they'll be come August 21, 2017. (Totality is a roughly 60-70 mile wide zone where people experience the greatest effect of the eclipse, as the moon's shadow completely blocks the sun.

Full Coverage: SC Total Solar Eclipse Coming to South Carolina

It took a very different path, though, than the one we'll see in a few days. Instead of sweeping across the nation and our state, like the one on Aug. 21, this one came up into the Big Bend area of Florida (southwest of Tallahassee) went through southern Georgia, then came through South Carolina's eastern half,  then North Carolina, and finally exited over southeastern Virginia.

Among the cities to be in the path of totality were Savannah, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Norfolk, Virginia. In the Midlands, Sumter, Manning, and Orangeburg all got to see 100 percent blockage of the sun.

Resource: Zoom into This Map to See What Your Town Experience in 1970

Here are the amount of times those cities saw totality:

Sumter: 1 minute, 31 seconds

Manning: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

Orangeburg: 1 minute, 32 seconds

Charleston: 1 minute, 30 seconds

Myrtle Beach: 1 minute, 52 seconds

The area closest to the Midlands that saw the longest totality was in Berkeley County near Lake Moultrie, which had 3 minutes and 1 second of fully blocked sunlight. 

Much like this time around, the eclipse passed through in the early afternoon. While the rest of the state didn't see totality, the rest of the Midlands saw about 98 percent totality, while the Upstate saw roughly 94 percent.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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