I have seen references several times lately online, including an article in Popular Science, stating that the last total solar eclipse visible from the United States was in 1918. This is simply not true. There have been several total eclipses visible from portions of the US since then, including the last one on February 26, 1979. I can attest that this one was visible, as I personally witnessed it in Williston, North Dakota, with the crew from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
Astronomers from the United States Naval Observatory planned to make observations during the 1918 eclipse to test Einstein’s recently minted General Theory of Relativity. Unfortunately, the observations in Oregon were clouded out, and the honor of successfully testing Einstein’s theory fell to British astronomer Arthur Eddington, based on observations of an eclipse in 1919, which did not cross North America.
Despite widespread pubic interest, no such major scientific import falls to the 2017 event. The next solar eclipse visible in the US is in April, 2024, which runs from Texas northeast to Maine. An even better opportunity comes on August 12, 2045, when a wide path of shadow (umbra) runs from Northern California to Florida. This path will pass right over my home town, but chances are, I will miss it.
For the record, it is estimated that any specific location on Earth, a total solar eclipse can be observed on the average about once every 300 years. However, specific locations may not be so lucky.
Here in Denver, the last total eclipse was the famed one mentioned above, on June 8, 1918. Although several not-quite-total annular eclipses will occur before then, the next full on total eclipse viewable from Denver will be on July 22, 2772. I think I will miss that one as well.