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Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Groundhog Day has been observed in the United States since 1886. In ancient Europe, the weather on Candlemas Day (also observed on February 2) was supposed to predict the upcoming weather. According to German tradition, if a hedgehog cast a shadow on Candlemas Day, there would be six more weeks of bad weather, the "Second Winter." German settlers in Pennsylvania brought this tradition with them and substituted the groundhog for the hedgehog. (Source: Groundhog Day History)
In 1909, John J. Coughlin, alderman of the First Ward of Chicago, introduced a resolution into the city council to make Groundhog Day a legal holiday.