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1982: WRTV reporter Reid Duffy delivers Groundhog Day report, again

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 07:17:23-05

INDIANAPOLIS — February 2 was an all too familiar date for former WRTV reporter Reid Duffy.

It meant the veteran reporter would once again be braving the elements to cover as Duffy called it, “that goofy meteorological ritual known as Groundhog Day.”

Duffy characterized the day as, “man’s feeble attempt to predict the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

Hoosiers were hoping for good news as the winter that year was especially harsh.

Rather than trust the forecasts of WRTV’s Bob McLain or David James, Duffy set his sights on Henrietta, the resident groundhog of the Indianapolis Zoo.

Henrietta would make her Groundhog Day debut in 1982. She replaced the late Charles Sterling Winchester III, better known as Charlie, who gained notoriety for being the first groundhog to undergo surgery at a hospital in 1980. Unfortunately Charlie did not survive a second surgery in 1981.

While Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow that day, Henrietta filed a dissenting opinion according to Duffy. It wasn’t a surprise though as Duffy noted in his report, “the sun hasn’t been out more than four or five times since August.”

Indiana Lt. Gov. John Mutz was also in attendance for the festivities.

“Since I’m the guy who is responsible for tourism in Indiana, during this time of the year when you’re trying to sell Indiana, you need all the help you can get,” Mutz said.

“I’m pleased to announce that we have declared Henrietta is now an official lieutenant governor of Indiana.”

Henrietta was unimpressed with the title, and much more interested in a banana she was given.