Hopkinsville’s moment in the spotlight is here.  The rural western Kentucky town is packed with visitors and anticipation of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the U.S. in 99 years. It’ll happen just after 1:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. 

Hopkinsville is considered the epicenter of the eclipse, offering one of the longest viewing opportunities in the world at two minutes and 40 seconds.  Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks says the town is soaking up the attention.

"This once in a lifetime experience has really brought a lot of positive attention to our community," Hendricks told WKU Public Radio.  "There's just a general level of excitement about playing host to this solar eclipse."

The city has spent more than half-a-million dollars on preparations since learning about its place in history nearly a decade ago. 

Romeo Durscher/NASA

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina. Eleven states are in the path of total darkness. Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

Opioid Emergency: What The Ohio Valley Needs To Combat Crisis

3 hours ago
Rebecca Kiger

The opioid crisis gripping the Ohio Valley is now, according to President Donald Trump, a national emergency. But more than a week after the president made that announcement, state and local health officials in the region told the Ohio Valley ReSource that they have little information about what that emergency declaration actually means, or what additional tools it might provide.


On Monday, the moon will completely eclipse the sun, and people all over the U.S. will watch.

For those who have been boning up on eclipse trivia for weeks, congratulations. For everyone else, here are the things you need to know about the phenomenon.

Creative Commons

Emergency management agencies throughout Kentucky are used to being storm ready--but now they’re eclipse ready. 

First responders have spent the past several months preparing for potential threats that come with large events.  Melissa Moore, with the Warren County Emergency Management Agency, says they’ve been trying to anticipate problems before they happen.

“We’re pre-staging all of our fire apparatus. We’ve talked to the police department, the sheriff’s department. They’re going to be pre-staging people in order to reduce response times. The ambulance service is doing the same thing.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/Minnesota DOT

As someone who spent most of her career in international business, Joann Bundock has seen some amazing sights all over the world, but she’s headed home to her native Kentucky to see something else pretty spectacular-the first total solar eclipse to travel the width of North America in 99 years.

“My husband woke me up one morning and said ‘We’re going to Kentucky. There’s going to be a total eclipse of the sun and it’s going right over your family’s farm in Kentucky,'" Bundock told WKU Public Radio.  "This has been on his bucket list forever.”

The couple from Toronto, Canada will be among the sea of humanity rolling into western and southern Kentucky this weekend.  NASA estimates that as many as half-a-million people will converge on the region.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. is preparing to experience this summer’s blockbuster show-the first coast to coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. 

While solar eclipses aren’t uncommon, this one is significant. Not only is it a total solar eclipse, meaning the moon will completely blot out the sun, it will also be visible in portions of 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina. 

It’s been 38 years since a total eclipse was visible from the continental United States - and even then it was visible only in the northwestern U.S. & Canada.  Many eclipses are only visible from remote parts of the globe.


Lisa Autry

Every first Saturday in May, Kentucky is home to the most exciting two minutes in sports.  On August 21, the state will be home to the most exciting two minutes in astronomy…two minutes and 40 seconds to be exact. 

Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the epicenter of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the United States in 99 years.  For a town of just over 30,000 people, it’s a really big deal.

Dubbed "Eclipseville,” at least 50,000 visitors from around the globe are expected to descend on Hopkinsville.  Local parks will become campsites.  The National Guard will mobilize for crowd control.  Schools will close.

Jonell Edwards has lived in Hopkinsville since 1953 and has never seen her hometown this excited about anything.

"People from overseas are coming. I think everything is going to be crowded," stated Edwards.  "It’s only going to last a few minutes, but everybody’s coming to see it.”

As President Trump doubled down on his defense of Confederate statues and monuments this week, he overlooked an important fact noted by historians: The majority of the memorials seem to have been built with the intention not to honor fallen soldiers, but specifically to further ideals of white supremacy.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

A small number of right-wing "Free Speech Rally" demonstrators disbanded early from Boston Common after they were confronted by thousands of counterprotesters shouting anti-Nazi and anti-KKK slogans.

Deborah Becker, a reporter with member station WBUR in Boston, said that "a few dozen" rally attendees were escorted from Parkman Bandstand by police and placed into police vehicles "for their own safety."

Pages

WKU Public Radio Features

Local Music | Lost River Sessions

WKU Public Radio Sustaining Members

Monday Afternoons at 4:45c/5:45e

Exploring the changing economy of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia

Photo Galleries

David Beckley

LRS Replay: The Kentucky Acoustic Music Festival

The second annual Kentucky Acoustic Music Festival was held May 20th at The Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green. It was presented by Lost River Sessions. The evening featured local favorite Mt. Victor Revue, Jenni Lyn and Lillie Mae.

Read More

E-mail Newsletter