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Local History

Mike the groundhog

“The first sunny morning in a week greeted Ozarkers today, and wouldn’t you know it’d have to be Groundhog Day! Squinting in the dazzling sunshine despite his stylish sunglasses is Dickerson Zoo Park’s groundhog 'Mike,'and he had no trouble seeing his shadow. So, if the old legends are to be believed, we’re in for another six weeks of wintry weather. The weatherman, after expressing some surprise that Mike and his neighbor groundhogs hadn’t drowned in the more than four inches of rain that had fallen here since last Saturday, said he couldn’t predict too far in the future but did promise continued cool weather for at least the first part of the weekend. More clear skies and sunshine on Saturday should bring crisp temperatures in the high 40s or 50s. Ol’ Mike couldn’t care less, though, as he retreated to the warmth and peaceful darkness of his zoo shelter to continue his snooze, regardless of what them new-fangled weathermen with all their gadgets have to say…”

Leader & Press, February 2, 1968

More cute critters can be found in From the Darkroom: A Collection of Springfield's Historic Newspaper Photographs.

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