Groundhog Day
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The residents of Punxsutawney, Pa., have consulted “groundhog weatherman” Punxsutawney Phil each Feb. 2 since 1887 to see whether the nation must endure six more weeks of winter.

He’s said yes 88 percent of the time, predicting an early spring only 13 times in 110 years.


Actors who appeared in The Conqueror (1956) and subsequently died of cancer:

  • John Wayne
  • Susan Hayward
  • Agnes Moorehead
  • Pedro Armendáriz
  • John Hoyt

Director Dick Powell died of cancer in 1963. The movie, in which Wayne played Genghis Khan, was shot in St. George, Utah, downwind of Nevada open-air nuclear testing, and producer Howard Hughes had 60 tons of dirt shipped back to Hollywood for use in reshoots.

By 1981, 91 of the 220 cast and crew had developed some form of cancer, and more than half of them were already dead.

“With these numbers, this case could qualify as an epidemic,” said University of Utah biologist Robert Pendleton. “In a group this size you’d expect only 30-some cancers to develop. … I think the tie-in to their exposure on the set of The Conqueror would hold up in a court of law.”