“August’s Total Solar Eclipse will be this century’s Woodstock moment”

100 million people could stand within the Path of Totality on August 21

Will August 21’s Total Solar Eclipse be the biggest-ever event in the USA’s history? “This event will be the Woodstock of the 21st century – it would not be unexpected to have a hundred million people see this eclipse,” said John Dvorak, author of Mask of the Sun, talking to AirTalk on 89.3 KPCC recently.

In relative terms, it wouldn’t be the first time. “In January 1925 there was a Total Solar Eclipse visible from Minnesota to New York in the middle of winter and yet 20 million people – a fifth of the US population at that time – went to see it despite there being not very good roads,” said Dvorak. With a far better, faster highway system and more modern transportation systems in place, August 21, 2017 could see 100 million people head for the Path of Totality.

Here we are in 2017 and anyone in the lower 48 states could reach the eclipse path in 12 hours or less, so there’s the potential for a huge part of the population of the US standing under the shadow this time,” he said.

Given the vast migrations predicted, Dvorak advises eclipse-chasers to plan ahead and book a hotel (good luck!) or a campsite (plenty of those left at the time of writing). “It would be good to get in position the night before because it’s possible that all the roads are going to be jammed up,” he said, though he also warned that planning much further ahead is also wise. “It will be so spectacular an experience that after you see it you’re going to say to yourself ‘I just don’t believe what I just saw’, so you’ll have to see the next one!”

Woodstock, held in 1969 in Sullivan County, 43 miles southwest of Woodstock, New York, saw 32 acts perform before 400,000 people.

Photo credit: epicrights.com