Groundhog Day … AGAIN

by Paula Bosse

groundhog_knott_dmn_020219A groundhog’s dilemma during the Texas Oil Boom, 1919

by Paula Bosse

It’s Groundhog Day. Again. Here are a few morsels from the past.

From 1907 — a headline from The Fort Worth Telegram. Just the headline — because they don’t write headlines like that anymore. It’s a bit of a confusing article, but the upshot of it is that if two different groundhogs — one in Dallas and one in “Panther City” — had different responses to the sunshine/shadow thing, the Fort Worth groundhog’s prognostication would always overrule the Dallas groundhog. Good to know!

groundhog_FWtelegram_020207Fort Worth Telegram, Feb. 2, 1907

From 1948, a wonderful curmudgeonly article by Frank X. Tolbert who had obviously had to write too damn many Groundhog Day pieces in his career. Worth it for the last two paragraphs about the Marsalis Park groundhog and this quote from the zoo’s superintendent: “His name was George and we kept him, mainly, for the convenience of newspaper reporters.”

groundhog_tolbert_dmn_020348DMN, Feb. 3, 1948 (click for larger image)

From 1953, an artistically posed groundhog from … the Marsalis Park Zoo (George’s successor), clutching onto a sunshine-measuring device from the Love Field Weather Bureau.


groundhog_dmn_020153-captionDMN, Feb. 1, 1953

A 1970 kinda-phoning-it-in (and who can blame him?) cartoon by Bill McClanahan:

groundhog_mcclanahan_020270DMN, Feb. 2, 1970

And, finally, a weird article from 1979 that has nothing specifically to do with Dallas (…although you never know…), but it did appear on the front page of The Dallas Morning News, and it does have a new twist on a “holiday” that’s pretty much been done to death. This has everything! Mad Men-era mind control, the CIA, Scientology, and, yes, Groundhog Day! (Click for larger image.)

groundhog_cia_dmn_020579DMN, Feb. 5, 1979

Happy Groundhog Day!


Top cartoon by Knott, The Dallas Morning News (Feb. 2, 1919).

Sources of all other clippings as noted.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the wonderful actor Stephen Tobolowsky — a Dallas native! — whose most-quoted appearance on film is, without question, this scene as Ned Ryerson from the movie … Groundhog Day.



Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.