DYK: There was a total eclipse of the sun in 1699 which terrified the world

There was a total eclipse of the sun in 1699 and the preparations made by Governments revealed their superstitions.

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For instance:

The elector of Darmstadt was informed of the approach of a total eclipse and in 1699, published the following edit in consequence:

“His Highness, having been informed that on Wednesday morning next, at ten o’clock, a very dangerous eclipse will take place, orders that on the day previous, and a few days afterwards, all the cattle be kept housed, and to this end ample fodder be provided; the doors and windows of the stalls be carefully secured, the drinking wells to be covered up, the cellars and garrots guarded so that the bad atmosphere may not obtain lodgment, and thus produce infection, because such eclipses frequently occasion whooping-cough, epilepsy, paralysis, fever and other diseases, against which every precaution should be observed.”barn door closed

(published in Nashville Union and American February 4, 1872)

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