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January 25, 2014

PUNXSUTAWNEY — We tend to be a reflective, nostalgic bunch — a group that enjoys looking back on the “good ol’ days.”

With that in mind, those of us here at The Spirit thought it might be fun to look back on both our history and the history of our town’s most famous event by printing a book that looked back on the front pages that fell on the next printing day after Groundhog Day.

That’s how “Hog History: A Collection of Phil’s Prognostications as documented in The Punxsutawney Spirit” came about.

Looking back on Phil and his prognostications — from 1996 to 2013 in this edition — revealed one certainty: This is a town that knows how to host a good shindig.

From Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2012 visit to Phil’s “six more weeks” prediction lining up with the Steelers’ sixth Super Bowl win to the 40,000-plus who greeted Phil on 02-02-02, lots of good times have been had up at Gobbler’s Knob.

And there are plenty more to come.

So, this year, as we look forward to Phil and his famous prognostication — and with the cold weather we’ve had, I’m sure many of us are hoping for no shadow! — we invite you to stop by The Spirit’s offices beginning Monday morning to pick up a copy of the limited-edition book.

The project was made possible thanks to the help of two local libraries — Punxsutawney Memorial Library lent The Spirit the necessary microfilm copies of the back issues, and Clarion Free Public Library offered
the use of its microfilm-to-digital copier.

A portion of the proceeds from the project will go to the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center — to help in continually promoting the importance of weather education here in The Weather Capital of the World — and to the Punxsutawney Memorial Library — which has hopes of purchasing a machine similar to the one at Clarion’s library to help preserve the history of the documents saved on microfilm digitally on its campus.

A limited number of copies of this book have been made available, with each copy costing $3 plus tax.

Stop by The Spirit’s office at 510 Pine St. in Punxsutawney during office hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday).

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