Enough bad news for one week.

Let’s look at the solar eclipse as seen at the White House.

The day before, First Lady Melania Trump wore a dress suggesting the sun’s rays:

On Monday, August 21, 2017, she wore black:

President Donald Trump dared to look at the sun — momentarily:

The First Couple then donned appropriate eyewear:

First Son Barron, 11, joined his parents:

Vice President Mike Pence was at the Naval Observatory:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions marvelled at the sight of the eclipse:

Here’s a dramatic photo:

The solar eclipse had one detractor. What on earth is wrong with these people?

Someone said this was the best eclipse ever. Clever.

The eclipse was visible from coast to coast, from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina. Melissa Chan wrote about more about the event for Time:

The rare celestial spectacle on Aug. 21 has a trajectory exclusive to the U.S. for the first time since the nation’s birth in 1776. It’s also the first total eclipse of the sun that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979.

For those who do not know, 1776 was the year of American independence.

The Atlantic examined the biblical significance of eclipses as signs of judgement in both the Old and the New Testament, notably at the Crucifixion.

Eclipses are far from being rare occurrences. The Atlantic article says they take place every year and a half. What makes them rare is that they occur in different places, so one is likely to see only one or two in a lifetime. The eclipse of 2010 was visible in the South Pacific. Perhaps some of my readers saw it.

The Atlantic points out that eclipses provoke powerful reactions:

Eclipse viewers are susceptible to emotional responses to solar eclipses, whether they view them as natural phenomena or heavenly wonders. Feelings of fear and awe fall along the same spectrum, and the splendor of astronomical events can sometimes blur the lines.

An Infowars reporter, Millie Weaver, has been crossing the United States doing reports on Flyover Country. She was in Spring City, Tennessee for the eclipse. This is a wonderful video which explores the beauty — and unity — that she and people from the South experienced:

Afterwards, she interviewed two university students from Alabama (near the end of the video). One quipped about the sun being returned to them because Trump negotiated a deal. It turns out that, centuries ago, rulers would tell their people that they could have the sun back after an eclipse if they did what they were told to do.

Americans who missed this eclipse don’t have long to wait for the next one. It will be on April 8, 2024 and will be visible from Maine to Texas, via the industrial heartland states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.

It is quite possible that Trump will be the first American president to be in office during two solar eclipses in the US.

You can read more about the 2017 eclipse at Time and at the NASA site.