Politics

Eclipse Day in Photos: D.C. and N.C. Residents Look Up to the Sun

An eclipse was on the minds of most American residents on this Monday

The moon passes in front of the sun during the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. on Monday. The town lies in the path of totality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call’s photographers caught the eclipse and the event’s spectators in two different locations on Monday. Tom Williams traveled to Sylva, N.C.,  in the path of totality. And Bill Clark stuck close to Roll Call’s home and captured moments as congressmen, reporters, congressional staffers and other Hill personnel ventured out on the Capitol steps and plaza to catch a glimpse of the historic event. 

Here’s the day in photos:

Washington, D.C.

Although the nation’s capital only had a partial solar eclipse, the productivity in D.C. on Monday was at perhaps an all-time low.

It was congressional recess, so while members of Congress won’t be back in town until September, staffers could be outside for hours on Monday afternoon. The Capitol lawn started filling up around 2 p.m., and at 2:42 p.m. peak time in Washington, hundreds of staffers and Capitol employees, as well as tourists, cheered and clapped at the sun.

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: The partial solar eclipse is seen through eclipse glasses in front of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The partial solar eclipse is seen through eclipse glasses in front of the U.S. Capitol on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Staffers sit on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Staffers sit on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Staffers sit on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Staffers sit on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Right before peak time, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, came out of the Capitol and put on his eclipse glasses. The senator was there to preside over the Senate at 7 a.m. Tuesday before heading home. He also said he was getting briefed on North Korea while in town.

While most people had eclipse glasses like Moran, many staffers created other contraptions to safely look at the sun. One group of around five staffers who said they worked in the Russell Senate Office Building had poster board and cardboard boxes they constructed with peep holes.

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., along with Bloomberg/BNA's Nancy Ognanovich, look up at the partial solar eclipse on the east plaza of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., along with Bloomberg/BNA’s Nancy Ognanovich, look up at the partial solar eclipse on the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: U.S. Capitol Police took a moment to check out the on the partial solar eclipse on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. Capitol Police took a moment to check out the on the partial solar eclipse on the Senate steps in front of the U.S. Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A group of a few female staffers made cereal boxes into viewing device.

One male tourist had taped his eclipse glasses to a paper plate and used it as a mask to look at the sun. He lent it to members of the military standing outside the Capitol to try out.

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Staffers and tourists sit across from the east front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Staffers and tourists sit across from the east front of the U.S. Capitol during the partial solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: A man on a dome tour of the U.S. Capitol uses his eclipse sun glasses to look at the sun from the top of the Capitol building on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, just before the start of today's solar eclipse. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A man on a dome tour of the U.S. Capitol uses his eclipse sunglasses to look at the sun from the top of the Capitol building on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, just before the start of today’s solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The atmosphere on the Capitol lawn was friendly, relaxed and communal. People were lending glasses to one another, asking around if anyone wanted to peek through theirs, and small-talking about the event.

One photographer with a special eclipse lens cover offered tourists a turn at looking through his camera.

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: A news photographer adjusts his telephoto lens equipped with a filter in front of the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in preparation for today's solar eclipse. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A news photographer adjusts his telephoto lens equipped with a filter in front of the U.S. Capitol in preparation for today’s solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Two Capitol staffers stand on the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol testing their solar eclipse glasses on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, minutes before the start of today's solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Two Capitol staffers stand on the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol testing their solar eclipse glasses on Monday, minutes before the start of today’s solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Tourists in front of the U.S. Capitol try to get a look at the sun on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, just before the start of today's solar eclipse. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Tourists in front of the U.S. Capitol try to get a look at the sun on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, just before the start of today’s solar eclipse. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Before 3 p.m., though, the crowd completely cleared out and the staffers formed lines of hundreds to re-enter the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings to get back to work.

North Carolina

Meanwhile, towns along the path of totality made the event into a celebration. Children and adults went outside to view the sun, and open areas were packed with people in their eclipse glasses.

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: A spectator views part of the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. on August 21, 2017. The town lies in the path of totality. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
A spectator views part of the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. The town lies in the path of totality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Spectators view the solar eclipse during the span of totality in Sylva, N.C., on August 21, 2017. The town lies in the path of totality. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Spectators view the solar eclipse during the span of totality in Sylva, N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Spectators view the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. on August 21, 2017. The town lies in the path of totality.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Spectators view the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
A spectator with a welding mask prepares for the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
A spectator with a welding mask prepares for the solar eclipse in Sylva, N.C. in front of a monument at the Jackson County Courthouse that reads “Our heroes of the Confederacy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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