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.”

Recent Headlines

in Sports, Viral Videos

Middle school team runs ‘Ugly Kardashian’ trick play

Fresh
17-overlay2

Lewis and Clark Middle School's football team gets tricky with a special play called the "Ugly Kardashian."

in Entertainment

Man’s ‘Harry Potter’ hoard is world’s largest

harrypotter

Think you're a "Harry Potter" superfan? This man lives in Hogwarts heaven and has the Guinness record to prove it.

in Viral Videos

Jeff Goldblum’s bizarre new lightbulb ad

13-overlay6

The "Jurassic Park" actor shows you the benefits of mood lighting, wearing nothing but tiny swim trunks and a bad wig.

in Music

Lady A, Little Big Town added to CMAs

littlebigtown

More performers have been added to the Country Music Association Awards lineup.

in Music

Blake Shelton gets his own road

blakeshelton

The "Honey Bee" hitmaker's success will be celebrated at a block party on Blake Shelton Boulevard.