Eclipse not the only thing tying 2017 to 1979 - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Eclipse not the only thing tying 2017 to 1979

1979 and 2017 have a few things in common. (Source: White House/Library of Congress/CNN/AP) 1979 and 2017 have a few things in common. (Source: White House/Library of Congress/CNN/AP)

(RNN) - How does the Aug 21 solar eclipse relate to Adrian Beltre's 3,000th hit and John Wayne's Oscar win? The answer lies in the timing.

The last time the United States saw a total solar eclipse was 1979. EmPower Solar has tracked changes in the country between the two dates. Some images below provided by EmPower Solar have a slider to compare 1979 to 2017.

Here's a comparison of the world of 1979 to the world of today.


1979 - A total eclipse crosses five states in the northwest.

2017 - A total eclipse will cross 14 states from coast-to-coast.

Climate change

1979 - President Jimmy Carter installs solar panels on the White House roof.

2017 - President Donald Trump withdraws the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

American politics

1979 - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) announces challenge to President Carter for 1980 Democratic nomination.

2017 - New York Times reports Vice President Mike Pence is positioning himself to challenge President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination. Pence has denied the report.

British politics

1979 - Margaret Thatcher becomes first female British prime minister.

2017 - Theresa May elected British prime minister. She's the second woman to hold the position after being installed in 2016 due to David Cameron's resignation.

Energy consumption

1979 - Long lines at gas pumps during fuel shortage.

2017 - Electric cars.


1979 - ESPN debuts.

2017 - ESPN parent company Disney and CBS announce online sports live-streaming services.

Cell phones

1979 - First cell phone introduced.

2017 - IPhone 8 expected to be introduced.

Major League Baseball

1979 - Lou Brock and Carl Yastrzemski reach 3,000 hits.

2017 - Adrian Beltre reaches 3,000 hits.


1979 - Tracy McGrady is born.

2017 - Tracy McGrady inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame.


1979 - Carl Edwards born.

2017 - Carl Edwards retires.


1979 - Sony Walkman first goes on sale.

2017 - Spotify and iTunes dominate music sales market.


1979 - Gay rights march.

2017 - Women's rights march.


1979 - "Alien" released.

2017 - "Alien: Covenant" released.

"True Grit"

1979 - John Wayne, who played Rooster Cogburn, dies.

2017 - Glenn Campbell, who played La Boeuf, dies.

Presidents vs. animals

1979 - President Jimmy Carter encounters "swamp rabbit" while on fishing trip.

2017 - Inflatable "Chicken Trump" installed outside White House.

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