Each year Ground Hog's Day comes around quite quickly after the holidays at my house. My second child shares his bithday with "Punxsutawney Phil" and so we seem to always pay attention to whether or not he sees his shadow. Not knowing much about this day prior to his birth... I came to learn a few facts I thought I would share. To clarify:
If he sees his shadow, he gets "scared" and returns to his den for six more weeks of winter.
If the day is cloudy and he does not see his shadow, he thinks it is spring.
The history of it goes back centuries, but some of the past fifty years facts may put a smile on your face today.
Over the course of Phil's appearances, Phil has had numerous noteworthy highlights:
During Prohibition Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't allowed a drink.
In 1958 Phil announced that it was a "United States Chucknik," rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.
In 1981 Phil wore a yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran.
Phil traveled to Washington DC in 1986 to meet with President Reagan. He was joined by Groundhog Club President Jim Means, Al Anthony and Bill Null.
Phil met Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987.
In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.
Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995.
In the years following the release of the movie, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney!
In 2001, Phil's prediction was shown live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City.
For more information,activities, and to see Phil yourself, check out
In my family, we are split between wanting more weeks of winter or looking for an early spring. Either way, we enjoy the anticipation of wondering what Phil will see or not see next week!