Total eclipses don’t happen often in the US, which is why the one happening on Aug. 21, 2017 will be a big deal.
The last time there was a comparable eclipse in the US — one that, like this year’s will, crossed all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic — was June 8, 1918. (That eclipse’s path stretched from Washington state to Florida, while the upcoming one will go from Oregon to South Carolina.)
That was 99 years ago! So besides the moon blocking out the sun, what else was going on in 1918?
1. Renting an apartment in the US cost an average of $178 — a year.
2. Cars looked like this!
3. Woodrow Wilson was the 28th POTUS.
4. The Boston Red Sox triumphed in the 1918 World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs 4–2.
5. World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (11 a.m. Paris time on Nov. 11, 1918).
6. But even more people died from a massive flu pandemic that broke out the same year.
So times were tough. But there were some lighter moments, too.
7. The first of many Tarzan films, Tarzan of the Apes, hit theaters. It was silent, of course.
8. Twins Esther Pauline and Pauline Esther Friedman (the future “Ask Ann Landers” and “Dear Abby”) were born in Sioux City, Iowa.
9. William Strunk Jr. penned the classic guide to grammar and prose, The Elements of Style.
10. Daylight saving time became official when Congress signed it into law on March 19, 1918.
11. A tornado hit the town of Codell, Kansas, on May 20 — for the third year in a row.
12. And America was getting worried about…Russia.
Stephanie Lee is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Stephanie M. Lee at email@example.com.
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