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Not Since Tecumseh: Darkness at Midday over the Ohio Country – Total Eclipse of the Sun – April 8, 2024

March 4 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

Come visit the St. Paul United Church of Christ with the Auglaize County Historical Society for an Ohio Humanities’ Speakers Bureau event with Tom O’Grady!

The last time Ohio was witness to a total eclipse of the sun was on June 16, 1806. The 1806 eclipse has gone down in history as Tecumseh’s Eclipse. Tecumseh was working to create a confederation of Native tribes to resist continued losses of land to the increased expansion of settlers in this formerly native territory. Future president and then military leader in the newly formed State of Ohio, William Henry Harrison, tried to stop him. In his efforts to discredit Tecumseh and his brother The Prophet, Harrison publicly challenged the Shawnee leadership by calling upon them to prove this power daring them to “cause the Sun to stand still or the Moon to alter its course, the rivers to cease to flow or the dead to rise from their graves.” Tecumseh used his knowledge of the approaching eclipse to reinforce the role of The Prophet and himself in the political dynamics unfolding in the newly formed region called the State of Ohio.

Hear about the dynamics causing solar eclipses and some of the history associated with this famous eclipse, subsequent eclipse expeditions, and a few stories about war and peace associated with this unique celestial phenomenon. O’Grady, Astronomy Instructor at Ohio University since 1984,  has chased the Moon’s shadow eight times to witness the appearance of distant stars and planets in the daytime, to see the outer atmosphere of the sun, and to observe the altered behavior of wild animals and livestock. This unique natural marvel, which struck a fear and awe in early people causing some of them to build enormous earthworks with which to predict such events in the future, will not occur again in Ohio skies until September 14, 2099.

Tom O’Grady sailed as a deck worker on an ore carrier on the Great Lakes aboard a sister-ship of the fated Edmund Fitzgerald, surveyed for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, launched the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in the state of Ohio and has been promoting waste reduction and sustainable economy for thirty years. O’Grady has also been an instructor of Observational Astronomy in the evenings at Ohio University for thirty years. He has spent a good deal of the past twenty-five years as a student of Ohio history researching its geography and settlement, the mound builders, Ohio canals, and several of its interesting characters and their stories.

Curious about our Speakers Bureau? Check out speakers and topics here.

Want to see other Ohio Humanities events? Check out our calendar!

Auglaize County Historical Society


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St. Paul United Church of Christ

101 Perry St
Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895 United States
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541 West Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Office: 614.461.7802