When did your state last experience totality?

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Thursday, January 26, 2017

This map shows the path the Moon's dark inner shadow will take August 21, 2017. // Astronomy: Richard Talcott and Roen Kelly
While I was sitting in an Astronomy story meeting yesterday, John Wenz, one of the other editors, asked the question, “When was the last time each of the 50 states saw totality?” Having spoken and written extensively about the eclipse (talks, podcasts, stories, blogs, even a book), I thought I’d heard every eclipse-related query. Not this one. Anyway, John’s question sent me into research mode, and the list below is what I discovered.

Please note that I’m using “states” here in the geographic, not the political, sense, meaning, “in the area currently designated as the state.” In other words, the date listed could be before that area of land officially became a state.

My special thanks go out to eclipse experts John Tilley and Michael Zeiler for helping me nail down the most distant state eclipse, that of Delaware. And also to Charles Fulco, who corrected my erroneous belief that totality during the 1970 eclipse touched only five states. His email to me added a sixth: Massachusetts.

Alabama                                                 June 8, 1918

Alaska                                                    July 20, 1963

Arizona                                                  June 16, 1806

Arkansas                                                June 8, 1918

California                                               April 28, 1930

Colorado                                                June 8, 1918

Connecticut                                           January 24, 1925

Delaware                                                July 29, 1478

Florida                                                    March 7, 1970

Georgia                                                   March 7, 1970

Hawaii                                                    July 11, 1991

Idaho                                                      February 26, 1979

Illinois                                                    August 7, 1869

Indiana                                                   August 7, 1869

Iowa                                                       June 30, 1954

Kansas                                                    June 8, 1918

Kentucky                                                August 7, 1869

Louisiana                                                June 8, 1918

Maine                                                      July 20, 1963

Maryland                                                March 7, 1970

Massachusetts                                        March 7, 1970

Michigan                                                June 30, 1954

Minnesota                                              June 30, 1954

Mississippi                                              June 8, 1918

Missouri                                                 August 7, 1869

Montana                                                February 26, 1979

Nebraska                                               June 30, 1954

Nevada                                                   April 28, 1930

New Hampshire                                     August 31, 1932

New Jersey                                             January 24, 1925

New Mexico                                           July 29, 1878

New York                                               January 24, 1925

North Carolina                                      March 7, 1970

North Dakota                                        February 26, 1979

Ohio                                                       June 16, 1806

Oklahoma                                              June 8, 1918

Oregon                                                   February 26, 1979

Pennsylvania                                          January 24, 1925

Rhode Island                                          January 24, 1925

South Carolina                                       March 7, 1970

South Dakota                                        June 30, 1954

Tennessee                                              August 7, 1869

Texas                                                      May 28, 1900

Utah                                                       January 11, 1880

Vermont                                                August 31, 1932

Virginia                                                  March 7, 1970

Washington                                           February 26, 1979

West Virginia                                         August 7, 1869

Wisconsin                                              June 30, 1954

Wyoming                                               June 8, 1918

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