When the last solar eclipse took place on Feb. 26, 1979, a news anchor delivered an inspiring message for the future, expressing hope that the next solar eclipse would be marked by world peace (video below).
ABC had live coverage of the eclipse, with anchor Frank Reynolds providing commentary.
"This is indeed a special events broadcast of a genuine special event: the last total eclipse of the sun over the continent this century," Reynolds said. "The moon is moving between the sun and the Earth and across a relatively narrow strip of the northwestern United States and central Canada."
The segment went on to show images of the different phases of the eclipse taken from various parts of the continent, including a remarkably clear shot of the sun when the eclipse reached totality. It also showed an image of the Portland, Oregon, skyline as total darkness fell gradually upon it.
"So that's it, the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century," Reynolds said. "And … not until August 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America."
Then came his message of hope for the future.
"That's 38 years from now," he said. "May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace."
Sadly, his wish didn't come true, with violence and war plaguing entire regions of the world. Reynolds died of cancer in 1983 at the age of 59, according to The New York Times.
People across the continent, from scientists to photographers, are highly anticipating today's eclipse.
"The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up, and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality," Brian Carlstrom of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate told CNN. "It's been described as peaceful, spiritual, exhilarating, shocking."
Millions of people are expected to gather outside to experience the unique event.
"This will be like Woodstock 200 times over -- but across the whole country," said Alex Young, a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Animals are affected by the eclipse as well. Nocturnal animals will wake up, while other animals will go to bed.
CNN reports that no matter where you are located on the continent, you will be able to notice changes in your environment.
NASA's live coverage of the eclipse begins at 12 p.m. Eastern time with its Eclipse Preview Show. Then, at 1 p.m. it will track the progression of the eclipse from Oregon to South Carolina. The live stream can be viewed on NASA's website, as well as various social media platforms.