News

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

THE REAL VIRGINIA: Virginia Douglas, assistant principal of P.S. 31, poses next to the Christmas tree in her home in New York City on Dec. 21, 1945. When she was eight, the former Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun asking, "Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?" Her letter evoked the famous Santa Claus editorial in 1897, which said, "Yes, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist." Photo: Associated Press

When 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon was unsure about whether Santa Claus was for real, her father told her to write a letter to the newspaper.

In 1897, O’Hanlon’s friends began to have their doubts about Santa Claus.

She then turned to her father for advice. He suggested she write a letter to the New York Sun, telling her that if she saw it in the Sun, it would be proof enough of Santa’s existence.

So, she wrote to the newspaper pleading, “Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”

Her letter was handed over to editor Francis Church, who, it seems, was rather reluctant to do anything about it all.

He didn’t exactly have the reputation of being the most gentle man on the staff of the newspaper.

But his response has become a part of Christmas lore.

He told Virginia her friends were wrong, that they had been affected by “skepticism.”

He went on to say, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” He told Virginia that Santa exists “as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.”

And in his response to little Virginia’s letter, Church concluded, “A thousand years from now, maybe 10 times 10,000 years from now,” Santa “will continue to make glad the hearts of children.”

The letter became the inspiration for “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Latest Stories

1 day ago in Music

TOP 10: Count down the top tracks this week

13-overlay-3

The top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending Feb. 13.

2 days ago in Entertainment

Bill Murray tosses fans’ phones off rooftop

billmurray

The "Ghostbusters" star was unwinding at rooftop restaurant in California on Thursday when he spotted two starstruck fans trying to snap his photo.

2 days ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ to battle at the box office

15-overlay-6

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

2 days ago in Entertainment, National

Roses and roaches: Cold-hearted Valentine’s Day ideas

valentines

With the coldest air in more than a decade forecast to grip the United States this Valentine's Day weekend, the holiday dedicated to love is flashing its frigid side.

2 days ago in Music

BFFs no more: Kanye West, Taylor Swift feud over his ‘Famous’ song

TAYLORswiftkanye

Looks like Taylor Swift and Kanye West are never, ever getting back together.