A Brief History
On February 2, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio fumbled the unfortunate groundhog Charlotte, dropping the marmot on her head during a Groundhog Day ceremony. For information about Groundhog Day, please read our article “First Groundhog Day Celebration in Punxsutawney,” but as you probably gathered by today’s article’s title, Groundhog Day is not only celebrated in Pennsylvania.
With regards to the tragic 2014 Groundhog Day in New York, typical of politically-staged events, the lies or misinformation started right away when the groundhog was called “Chuck,” when in reality it was a female named Charlotte who had been provided for the event by the Staten Island Zoo. It was bad enough that the public saw the mayor drop the hapless rodent, but the drama continued when the poor animal died about a week later. Although a necropsy revealed the cause of death to be injuries consistent from being dropped, the zoo allegedly kept that information from the mayor’s office and the public, claiming the critter had instead died of “old age.”
After this debacle, the zoo reportedly used Charlotte’s daughter as the 2015 “Staten Island Chuck” with Mayor de Blasio watching her from a much safer six feet away. From 2016 onwards, de Blasio has avoided attending the annual event. Mayor de Blasio had also fumbled other things in 2014 with lasting consequences, notably his relationship with the New York Police Department, but that is another story…
Question for students (and subscribers): Do you think de Blasio was a good mayor? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Viteritti, Joseph P. The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York. Oxford University Press, 2017.
You can also watch a video version of this article on YouTube.