In about 1920, a groundhog at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. was photographed poking his head out of his manmade burrow:
There is no specific month and day given for this photo, but I see some icicles at the top of the image and perhaps snow in the foreground. So, I like to think this photo was taken on Groundhog Day and our friend is considering whether to come out and see if he has a shadow.
Another photo of this groundhog in the National Photo Company Collection is below:
The original negative numbers for these two photos suggest this one was shot soon after the first. So, it’s not just my bias as a fan of winter weather that makes me think this groundhog saw his shadow and is heading back into his burrow to further hibernate while we enjoy (or suffer through, depending on your perspective) another six weeks of winter!
- Read more about the origins of Groundhog Day through a blog post by our colleagues in the American Folklife Center: Groundhog Day: Ancient Origins of a Modern Celebration.
- See more photos of residents of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., during the early decades of the 20th century through the National Photo Company Collection.
- Washington, D.C. has seen almost no snow this winter, so enjoy photos of the capital city during past snowier years.