In 1978, A Teacher Told His Students They Would Get Together For The 2024 Eclipse. He Fulfilled His Promise

April 10, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Rochester, New York.

In a heartwarming reunion 46 years in the making, Patrick Moriarty, a retired science teacher from Upstate New York, fulfilled a promise he made to his students decades ago by watching the 2024 solar eclipse together.

teacher eclipse party 1978
Credit: / News 10

Back in 1978, Moriarty, while teaching his "Earth Science" class, distributed worksheets detailing the trajectories of upcoming eclipses. As he highlighted the one expected to pass near their hometown, Moriarty boldly declared to his students, "Hey, circle that one on April 8, 2024. We're going to get together on that one."

His students chuckled at the thought, finding it challenging to fathom such a distant future event. Nevertheless, Moriarty persisted, reminding all of his classes over the next 16 years to mark their calendars for the anticipated gathering.

Fast forward to two years ago, Moriarty, fueled by nostalgia and determination, created a Facebook event and reached out to his former students. To his surprise, hundreds responded with enthusiasm, expressing interest in joining the reunion.

As April 8, 2024, approached, approximately 100 of Moriarty's former students gathered at his home in suburban Rochester, New York. Emotions ran high as familiar faces from their junior high days reconnected, with Moriarty reminiscing, "When they were walking up, I could see their little ninth grade faces still."

teacher eclipse party 1978
Credit: Photo by Natalie Calzetoni / WHAM

Former student Kevin Thompson reflected on Moriarty's commitment, dubbing the promise as "the longest homework assignment in the history of any teacher."

Chuck O'Brien echoed this sentiment, describing Moriarty not just as a great teacher but an inspirational one.

As the eclipse spectacle unfolded, surrounded by the warmth of shared memories, laughter, and camaraderie, Moriarty proposed another reunion in two decades for the next total solar eclipse. The suggestion elicited laughter, reminiscent of the jovial spirits from 1978.

Watch the good news video below.

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