LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was February 26, 1979 and ABC’s Frank Reynolds broke into programming for a live, special report.

“Good morning, this is indeed a special events broadcast of a genuine special event. The last total eclipse of the sun over this continent this century.”

The solar eclipse was not seen in Louisville – the astronomical wonder was only visible to the Pacific Northwest.

The rest of the country watched it on television. Frank Reynolds signed off that day with a profound promise – one that resonates today.

“May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace and ABC News, of course, will bring you a complete report on that next eclipse 38 years from now.”

On May 10, 1994, an annular eclipse created an eerie afternoon darkness over Kentuckiana.

The partial eclipse, casting a crescent-shaped glow as school children and office workers watched from Rauch Planetarium and on downtown streets.

Viewers flock to see the annular eclipse on May 10, 1994. 

“I think it’s great. I was 13 years old the last time I saw this so I think I’ll be 60-something the next time. So this is the only time in my life I can appreciate it,” Tom Wine said in 1994.

He said in 2017, “well I got it right.”

Twenty-three years later, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine is getting ready to view his third eclipse.

“It was just a fun time and it was a rare occurrence so we just had a good time it was a great experience and like I said I'm really looking forward to it but I thought it was funny that back then that being 60 I probably wouldn't be enjoying life but here I am now in my sixties I'm having a great time and I'm looking forward to my next one I think I'll be in my mid-eighties so I'm looking forward to that one,” he said.

The best part of that day in 1994, the collective experience Wine shared with friends and colleagues, even perfect strangers.

Everyone pausing from their daily lives to take in a simple, but elusive, act of nature.

There were no smartphones back then and Wine doesn't plan on using one in 2017.

“If all you see It through is that little lens of life you're missing so much more because again it's just watching people’s faces taking the whole thing in there are going to be some fantastic pictures out there but this, the human eye and the human mind is the best of all."

For the first time in 99 years, on Monday, a solar eclipse will span the entire continental United States.
The Great American Eclipse will be 70 miles wide, 3,000 miles long and stretch across 14 different states in what will truly be the sight of a lifetime.

From Salem to Omaha and from Hopkinsville to Charleston the 'Eclipse of the Century' is a collective experience America won't soon forget.