Those who watched as much of the process, as Corinthians could observe, got to see first contact and some phases of the eclipse until it ended.
Many residents noticed the daylight outdoors became noticeably dimmer and while humidity remained the same, temperatures dropped as much as five degrees during the event’s peak.
Social media came alive with photos of crescent-shaped shadows the eclipse casted on outdoor walls, sidewalks, streets and on the ground as tree leaves acted like multiple pinhole viewers.
Glen resident Whitney Houry has deep shade along the county road where she lives and said, “With all the crescent shapes on the road, it looked like the road had turned to water.”
People posted pictures of their private eclipse-viewing gatherings.
Schools in the area had to make choices regarding how to handle their students’ observations of the event and districts varied in their policies for the day.
Alcorn County Schools opted for their pre-k through sixth grade students not to participate in observations of the event.
A letter from Alcorn School District Superintendent Larry B. Mitchell stated, “After researching the possible hazards and conferring with doctors, teachers and various superintendents, we have decided it is too big a risk for a student’s vision to allow them to observe the eclipse as a group. It would be difficult to insure every student wears the protective eyewear appropriately and does not take them off.”
Teachers in that district were encouraged to allow students to watch NASA’s online coverage of the event.
The Corinth School District opted not to let any students be allowed to view the solar eclipse outdoors, stating the policy was a safety precaution. District officials also encouraged teachers to allow online viewing of the event.
Corinth School District parents were allowed to check their children out to view the eclipse. Those students were allowed an excused absence to leave for that purpose.
McNairy County Schools chose to close Monday, due to the eclipse, and all extra-curricular activities were postponed until after 3 p.m.
Northeast Mississippi Community College was among schools getting students involved. Physics Instructor George Nock said the school set up viewing stations and provided eclipse glasses for students to use to view the rare event.
Serving up Moon Pies, Sun Chips, Sunkist soda and Eclipse Gum, Booneville Optometrist Dr. Tate Hill gave residents a place to gather and celebrate Monday’s eclipse at the Triangle in Downtown Booneville.
The owner of Hill Family Eye Center said he was excited about the unique astronomical event and thought it would be fun to host a party for the community to safely view the eclipse. His eclipse party brought a big crowd out to share fun, fellowship and a once in a lifetime moment.
The last total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. was in 1979.
On Aug. 12, 2045, a total solar eclipse will sweep across parts of north Mississippi, although Corinth will again not be in the path of totality.
(The Banner-Independent Editor Brant Sappington contributed to this story.)