“Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”
This quote comes from the editorial response to a letter sent to a New York newspaper, The Sun, in 1897.
Dr Philip O’Hanlon, a coroners assistant was asked by his eight year old daughter, Virginia, “Daddy is their a Santa Claus?”
He suggested that she wrote to the Sun newspaper and pose her question, assuring her “If you see it in The Sun, it must be true”
Francis Church, former war correspondent during the American Civil War and now one of the editors at the newspaper replied. He used it as an opportunity to reflect on American society which, at that time had suffered greatly during the war and was lacking hope and faith.
The message moved many people and is the most reprinted editorial from any English speaking newspaper in the world. To see the full text click on the link Virginia’s letter
- Francis Pharcellus Church set up The Galaxy magazine with his brother William.
- Mark Twain wrote about ten pages for each issue between 1870 and 1871
- Mark Twains real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens
- Francis died in 1906 and was buried in the cemetery at Sleepy Hollow
- Sleepy Hollow was originally a settlement called North Tarrytown, until 1996 when villagers voted to change it’s name in honour of the Washington Irving story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow