‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’

Kosh

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‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’: Read the iconic 1897 editorial that continues to bring Christmas joy

New York Sun editorial writer Francis Pharcellus Church penned the response to 8-year-old Virginia O’Halon, who lived in Manhattan with her parents. The girl had just one question — is there a Santa Claus?



Francis Pharcellus Church, an editorial writer for the New York Sun, wrote an iconic response to a letter about Santa in 1897.




On Sept. 21, 1897, The New York Sun published what was to become the most widely read letter to a newspaper. It was sent by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who lived with her parents in Manhattan. Below is the full text of that letter and the reply by Sun editorial writer Francis Pharcellus Church.

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”

Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

115 W. 95th St.



Virginia O’Hanlon, a real girl, wrote a real letter.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Read more: ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus?: Read the iconic 1897 editorial that continues to bring Christmas joy - NY Daily News
 

bear513

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Op I was thinking this too, thanks for posting it.
 

bear513

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Merry Christmas to all.... even the liberals on here. It was fun to argue with you.
But a time comes in the year we throw all way of our hatred of each other.

Kiss and make up.. and we fight again on the 26th.....
 

FJO

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Time after time you hear/read people deriding and denigrating others who remember and long for yesteryear, citing the fact that there were separate drinking fountains for blacks, there was no tolerance for gays, etc.

But they forget that back then a newspaper editor was able to write an honest and enduring letter to little girl, a letter - were it written today, if any newspaper editor had the guts and the brains to do so - would be laughed at and ridiculed.

Can you imagine a major newspaper in a large American city publish a letter like that today?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
 

SwimExpert

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Time after time you hear/read people deriding and denigrating others who remember and long for yesteryear, citing the fact that there were separate drinking fountains for blacks, there was no tolerance for gays, etc.

But they forget that back then a newspaper editor was able to write an honest and enduring letter to little girl, a letter - were it written today, if any newspaper editor had the guts and the brains to do so - would be laughed at and ridiculed.

Can you imagine a major newspaper in a large American city publish a letter like that today?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
And that certainly makes extreme racism all worth it.
 

Sunshine

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It seems that my daughter has her little boy not only leaving cookies and milk for Santa, but also veggies for the reindeer. When she was little, we never left food for the reindeer. Thanks God for PETA. Now Santa's reindeer have equal rights! Or something like that. :confused:
 

Sunshine

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Merry Christmas to all.... even the liberals on here. It was fun to argue with you.
But a time comes in the year we throw all way of our hatred of each other.

Kiss and make up.. and we fight again on the 26th.....
Check out AWE (Wealth Channel). They are still wishing viewers "Merry Christmas." Not everyone has sold out.
 

Delta4Embassy

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‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus’: Read the iconic 1897 editorial that continues to bring Christmas joy

New York Sun editorial writer Francis Pharcellus Church penned the response to 8-year-old Virginia O’Halon, who lived in Manhattan with her parents. The girl had just one question — is there a Santa Claus?



Francis Pharcellus Church, an editorial writer for the New York Sun, wrote an iconic response to a letter about Santa in 1897.




On Sept. 21, 1897, The New York Sun published what was to become the most widely read letter to a newspaper. It was sent by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who lived with her parents in Manhattan. Below is the full text of that letter and the reply by Sun editorial writer Francis Pharcellus Church.

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”

Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

115 W. 95th St.



Virginia O’Hanlon, a real girl, wrote a real letter.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Read more: ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus?: Read the iconic 1897 editorial that continues to bring Christmas joy - NY Daily News
So...8 year olds back then were smarter than most high school grads now? Reading the reply I'm struck thinking 'what 8 year old is gonna be able to appreciate this?' :) Might as well have written, "Because of how many homes Santa must visit every Christmas, he travels near the speed of light benefitting from relativistic time dilation. And because he does this every year he's in an almost constant state of motion and so while he's aging, relative to us, he ages very slowly indeed and is in effect immortal." :)
 

FJO

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Time after time you hear/read people deriding and denigrating others who remember and long for yesteryear, citing the fact that there were separate drinking fountains for blacks, there was no tolerance for gays, etc.

But they forget that back then a newspaper editor was able to write an honest and enduring letter to little girl, a letter - were it written today, if any newspaper editor had the guts and the brains to do so - would be laughed at and ridiculed.

Can you imagine a major newspaper in a large American city publish a letter like that today?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
And that certainly makes extreme racism all worth it.
It is not my fault and neither is it the fault of any conservative that your pitifully myopic eyes can see the world only thru the lens of racism.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New Year!
 

SwimExpert

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It seems that my daughter has her little boy not only leaving cookies and milk for Santa, but also veggies for the reindeer. When she was little, we never left food for the reindeer. Thanks God for PETA. Now Santa's reindeer have equal rights! Or something like that. :confused:
Don't get your granny panties in a bunch. It's a long standing tradition for many people. My step mother's family used to do it when they were children, which carried over to me and my siblings in the years that we celebrated Christmas. I had several classmates who did the same thing when I was young.
 

SwimExpert

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Time after time you hear/read people deriding and denigrating others who remember and long for yesteryear, citing the fact that there were separate drinking fountains for blacks, there was no tolerance for gays, etc.

But they forget that back then a newspaper editor was able to write an honest and enduring letter to little girl, a letter - were it written today, if any newspaper editor had the guts and the brains to do so - would be laughed at and ridiculed.

Can you imagine a major newspaper in a large American city publish a letter like that today?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
And that certainly makes extreme racism all worth it.
It is not my fault and neither is it the fault of any conservative that your pitifully myopic eyes can see the world only thru the lens of racism.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New Year!
You're the one who made the very stupid suggestion. The fact that it is Christmas does not excuse you from being cited for your stupidity.
 

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