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The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


Should School Personnel Be Armed?

  • No (55%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (45%, 14 Votes)

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The Legend Behind Groundhog Day

Taking a closer look at the history behind Groundhog Day

  On Feb. 2, many people in America and Canada celebrate Groundhog Day by watching Puxatony Phil. Phil is considered to be the most famous groundhog in America. The first ever Groundhog Day was in 1887. Puxatony Phil’s full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Profit Extraordinary,” according to Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Puxatony Phil also has a wife named Phyliss, although she does not receive the Elixir of Life, so she will not live forever like Phil. Clymer Freas, who was city editor at the Punxsutawney Spirit is credited as the “father” who created the idea of “Groundhog Day”. Freas was inspired by the local tradition of hunting and barbecuing groundhogs that were caught by the club. Freas caught a groundhog and named it Phil. He used his editorial fame to proclaim that Punxsutawney Phil was the only groundhog that could forecast weather. Groundhog Day is also part of a tradition rooted in European agricultural life and marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Although Groundhog Day is not an official holiday, many anticipate whether Phil sees his shadow or not. The Ceremony takes place in Puxatony, Pa. Phil lives in a manmade zoo that is climate-controlled and light-regulated. It is also connected with Barley Square, the town park, and the Punxsutawney Memorial Library. Phil was born in 1887 which makes him 123 years old, although the average groundhog lives to be about 10 years. The legend says there has only been one Puxatony Phil for Groundhog Days. Phil gets an elixir of life that makes him immortal. A common reason why everyone is so invested in Groundhog Day and Phil is because of his supposed magic talents for seeing the future. On Groundhog Day, Phil comes out of his burrow and stands on a pedestal to see if he can see his shadow. If Phil sees his shadow it is rumored that winter will be another six weeks longer. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, then spring is rumored to come early. In the past year, Phil has seen his shadow 107 times and not seen his shadow only 20 times. This means many people predicted Phil would see his shadow, leading to a late spring. This year Phil did not see his shadow. This surprised many people because of the small chance there was, but it can be very exciting for those who do not enjoy winter. Puxatony Phil, has only been correct 39% of the time since 1887. However, this does not stop people from getting excited for a possible early spring.

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Coral Cravey
Coral Cravey, Page Designer
Coral Cravey is a freshman this year at WSH. Coral Took newspaper as her love for designing and writing would be of great use. Coral is a reporter on the newspaper team.Outside of school Coral is a swimmer for the TC Tritons swim team here at WSH. Coral interests include being outdoors and activities such as skiing.

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