The only total eclipses that have happened in the last 40 years in the US were in 1979 (in the northwest part of the country only) and 1991 (Hawaii only). Anything else you saw was only a partial (and there have been lots of these, like on Christmas Day 2000) or an annular eclipse (such as the one on May 10, 1994). Those are NOTHING compared to the absolutely amazing spectacle of a total eclipse!!!
There was a total eclipse whose path of totality traveled up the east coast of the US in March of 1970. This was the eclipse that sparked the eclipse bug in many of today’s veteran eclipse chasers!
We’re hoping that the 2017 eclipse will do the same for a whole new generation of “umbraphiles”!!