The Long History of Groundhogs in America

Jaiden Dickman, Writer

Groundhog day is a longstanding tradition in the United States and Canada that is celebrated every year Feb. 2. Groundhog’s day has been an observed tradition in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. It was first celebrated for the first time in Punxsutawney, PA. This tradition is supposed to predict whether or not there will be six more weeks of winter. If Punxsutawney Phil, the main groundhog for predicting the weather, comes out of his hole and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow then there will be an early spring. The beginning of February falls between the spring equinox and the winter solstice. 

Phil has seen his shadow the last three years in a row including this year. Many of the students at SLHS have mixed feelings about Phil’s predictions for six more weeks of winter. 

Junior Curtis Brashaw said, “I am actually appalled. That groundhog has it coming; it is a sham. We need to re-try with an actual professional groundhog and not this amateur. Where did this groundhog even get its degree? The fact that this country, founded on freedom and liberty and justice for all, can not see the folly in front of us is a tragedy. Mel is the one and only groundhog in my heart; Mel is the OG, the professional, the conqueror of groundhog day.”

Senior Laney Pestrue said, “I forgot that today was groundhog day, but I’m ecstatic that we have six more weeks of winter because I enjoy the snow. Snow reminds me of Christmas, which is the best time of the year, and snow is also great for snowboarding and ice skating, which I love. This groundhog is definitely an expert because there will be six more weeks of winter either way since that’s what the calendar says each year. Yay for groundhog day.”

Phil is not the only groundhog that takes part in predicting the weather. He has many counterparts from neighboring towns and areas around America. One is Milltown Mel who died last year however, Phil is the main groundhog that is nationally televised. 

Each year Groundhog’s day is held to help speculate how much longer we will have winter weather. This year Phil’s prediction made a divergent gap between the students at SLHS. Either way, Puxataney Phil has made it clear that we will have six more weeks of winter ahead of us.