Category Archives: Uncategorized

Comparing the solar eclipse of 1970 with the next week’s eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between earth and the sun and thereby totally or partly blocks the sun for a viewer on earth. A total solar eclipse occurs in a narrow path across earth’s surface, with a partial solar eclipse visible in the surrounding region.

The total solar eclipse of March 7, 1970 was visible across southern Mexico and the southeast coast of the United States and Canada. The lengthiest eclipse occurred over Mexico, with totality lasting 3 minutes and 28 seconds. The longest duration in the United States was 3 minutes and 10 seconds. This eclipse, also known as the “eclipse of the century,” passed directly over NASA’s Wallops Station, where researchers launched 32 sounding rockets to conduct meteorological and physics experiments.

A group called the Aquarians organized a celebration of the 1970 eclipse near the Washington Monument and Sylvan Theater on the National Mall. Patrick Frazier photographed the concert and the participants.


Participants singing and dancing at Aquarians’ Sun-In Event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.


On Aug. 21, 2017, the path of the total eclipse will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina and will be about 70 miles wide. The longest duration of total eclipse will be near Carbondale, Illinois, where the moon will completely cover the sun for 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. You can watch NASA’s live video stream.

Currently on Display: 19th Century Travel Writing from the Artemas Martin Collection

Do you love to travel? Are you an armchair traveler? Travel writing has been around for centuries. Featured in the current display on the third floor of Bender Library are a selection of works of travel writing from the Victorian era. The works on display include narratives on Alaska, Cuba, Egypt, Hawaii, Panama, the Philippines and Central and South America as well as records from scientific expeditions. The exhibit will be on display through the middle of August.

Campus Beautification Day

AU will be celebrating its 22nd Campus Beautification Day on April 14th. This university tradition incorporates campus beautification and sustainability goals. Activities include planting, mulching, and installing rain barrels. In 2014, over 4,000 plants were planted on campus and students and staff volunteers participated in a community service project to remove bamboo debris from the Battery-Kemble Trail in Rock Creek Park.

Campus Beautification Day has deep roots at AU. Starting in 1933, AU students and faculty participated in campus cleanup projects in honor of Arbor Day. Classes were cancelled for the day. The morning was spent on a set of designated projects which ended with a picnic lunch. Afternoon activities included softball games and dancing. In addition to landscaping work, students and faculty built rock gardens and wooden bridges and installed benches and railings across campus. By the 1940s, students adopted the name “Campus Day” as the event was no longer always held on Arbor Day. When cleanup activities were held in conjunction with May Day festivities, the winner of the onion pulling contest was named court jester to the court of the spring queen. Campus Day continued through 1957.

Arbor Day 1930s

Arbor Day 1930s

Campus Day 1995

Campus Day 1995

Currently on Display – Winning Directions: The Art of Direct Mail for Political Campaigns 1997-2012

In honor of the mid-term elections, AU Special Collections is highlighting one of its more recent acquisitions, The Anthony J. Fazio Direct Mail Archive, with an exhibit on the third floor of Bender Library.

Winning Directions is an award winning Democratic direct mail firm which was started in 1989 by Anthony J. Fazio. It offers a variety of services including campaign planning, fundraising, polling, voter database design, and a photo studio. Winning Directions works for individual campaigns as well as PACs and labor unions. The exhibit features examples of attack ads, candidate bios and endorsements, and hot topic pieces and will be on display through the end of the fall semester.