Monday, September 21, 2009

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause.

On September 21, 1897, newsman Francis Pharcellus Church responded to a letter from eight -year- old Virginia O’Hanlon in the New York Sun. Virginia wrote to the Sun to ask if there really was a Santa Clause:

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Clause. Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.” Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Clause?

In one of, if not the most, famous editorials, Francis Church responded to Virginia saying, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause." He explained how it might be hard to prove Santa’s existence, but that this did not make him any less real, “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.” Virginia’s letter, and Church’s response have been reprinted countless times in newspapers and holiday books ever since.

To read a transcription of Virginia’s letter and Church’s response in its entirety, visit the Newseum’s website.

[Image via Newseum]

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