It is Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1975, and the first full year of the Ford Administration is sliding into history.
President Ford himself spends the day meeting with, among others, Dick Cheney; Donald Rumsfeld; Alan Greenspan; Treasury Secretary William Simon; press secretary Ron Nessen; Henry Kissinger; Sens. Jack Kemp and Jacob Javits; and Ed Kranepool.
(OK, I made that last one up. You awake out there?)
In Spain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still alive, but only for two more days. In New York, Garrett Morris is not yet famous as an interpreter of news for the hard of hearing: NBC’s Saturday Night has aired only five times.
In Cleveland, the Marine Board of Investigation into the Nov. 10 sinking of the S/S Edmund Fitzgerald holds its first of 12 hearings.
In West Virginia, author Jesse Stuart visits the Marshall University campus for a day in his honor. While he is generous in signing his books, he quixotically dates all his signatures “Feb. 18, 1976.”
In the Dominican Republic, future World Series MVP David Ortiz is born.
In London, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play their first European gig, at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. The show will be released as a live album and DVD 30 years later.
Oh, yeah — and, for the first of only two times in the 1970s, the moon went out.
What could my grandfather have seen from his vantage point in Stamford, Connecticut? I don’t know, though the Internet tells me that skywatchers elsewhere in the U.S. got a decent view of the eclipsed moon and its slow return to light.
I take that back: I’ve found a newspaper article that describes the eclipse as “easily seen from the New England area” and “breathtaking.”
I doubt my freshly barbered grandpa went anywhere special to watch, but I imagine he staked out the best place on his property to see what he could see — whether it was in the back yard, or looking out the attic window.
On the East Coast, the day was uncharacteristically warm, even hazy in places, which would only have encouraged amateur astronomers to step into the yard and do some observing.
The article also says that cloud cover hid the eclipse in the Rochester, N.Y., area — where, at two years old, I was too young to take notice of it anyway. I cannot remember ever consciously taking part in an eclipse at any time in my life, actually.
Wonder when the next one is.