The Tiny Kentucky Town That Eclipse Fans Are Obsessing Over

On August 21, 2017, the United States is in for a totally American solar eclipse. The path of the total solar eclipse runs from the beach at Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Astronomers have determined that the best place along that path to see totality will be Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a small town between Paducah and Nashville. The sun will be blocked for two minutes and 40 seconds in the middle of the day there. And that won't be the only thing going on in Hopkinsville.

In a strange coincidence, August 21, the day of the 2017 eclipse, carries a lot of significance for Hopkinsville. That’s the day, in 1955, that a local farmhouse in nearby Kelly received an alleged visit from a band of extraterrestrials and a fierce gunfight ensued. Local police and military police from nearby Fort Campbell investigated, and the incident received considerable coverage from the national press.

The community now celebrates the event annually with the “Little Green Men Days” festival. Next year’s four-day spectacular will be capped off with a total solar eclipse, and probably considerable UFO conspiracy theories.

“I like to say the aliens were here to pick out their viewing site early,” Cook joked.

But forget booking a hotel room in Hopkinsville next August. They've been booked for years. Read about Hopkinsville and the eclipse to come at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: Flickr user army.arch *Adam*)


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