August 31 - 1932: 15,000 view eclipse here

1954: Hurricane Carol and Edna two weeks apart, Sixty die in two Category 3 hurricanes
Special Viz-Eclipse viewer to see the show on August 31, 1932. Photo courtesy of eclipse-maps.com

1932: 15,000 come to Cape Cod to see an eclipse

In 1932, tourists headed to Provincetown for something other than its beautiful beaches. According to the New York Times, they came for an afternoon eclipse.

The Times article states that visitors came from far and wide to see the spectacle, stopping in town to buy "colored glasses" and "eclipse lenses".

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun's rays.

The total solar eclipse in 1932 was best seen through the Northeast and Canada. See a NASA diagram of the eclipse here. Learn more about the eclipse here.

The Derick Studio copyrighted a cardstock portable lens called the "Viz-Eclipse" for viewing the total eclipse in 1932. Click here to see the viewer.

Read the full story below:

1954: A September to remember

Sixty die in two Category 3 hurricanes, Carol and Edna a week apart

On this day in 1954, two of our worse hurricanes were about to strike. Carol formed near the central Bahama Islands on August 25, and moved slowly northward and north-northwestward.

By August 30 it was a hurricane about 100-150 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina. It then accelerated north-northeastward, make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane over Long Island, New York and Connecticut on the 31st. The cyclone became extratropical later that day as it crossed the remainder of New England and southeastern Canada.

Sustained winds of 80 to 100 mph were reported over much of eastern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts. A peak gust of 130 mph was reported at Block Island, Rhode Island, while gusts of 100 to 125 mph occurred over much of the rest of the affected area. Storm surge flooding occurred along the New England coast from Long Island northward, with water depths of 8 to 10 ft reported in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Carol was responsible for 60 deaths and $461 million in damage in the United States.

Then came Edna

No discussion of Carol is complete without mention of the remarkably similar Hurricane Edna. This storm first formed east of the Windward Islands on September 2. It moved northwestward, and by September 7 it was a hurricane very near where Carol had formed two weeks before. From this point, Edna followed a path just east of Carol's. It accelerated past Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on September 10 and made landfall over Cape Cod as a Category 3 hurricane the next day. Edna moved across Maine into eastern Canada later on the 11th as it became extra-tropical.

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts reported a peak wind gust of 120 mph during Edna, and much of the rest of the affected area had gusts of 80 to 100 mph. The storm was responsible for 20 deaths and $40 million in damage in the United States.

Read More in Wikipedia here.

And don't forget the old Cape Cod doggerel:

June, too soon;
July, stand by;
August, if you must;
September, remember;
October, all over.


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