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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Yes, Virginia...


Our Season's Gift To You...
The Iconic 1897 Editorial That Continues to Bring Holiday Joy

On September 21 1897, the New York Sun published what was to become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial. The letter from eight-year old Virginia O'Hanlon of New York City and the quick response from veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has appeared whole or in part in dozens of languages in newspapers, books, movies, on posters, stamps and the internet.


I am eight years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Poppa 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 West 95th Street
New York City, NY


They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age.

They do not believe except what hey see. They think 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 of 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 your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas, how dreary would the world be 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 vthere. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes that noise inside, but there is a vieil covering the the unseen world which not the strongest men, 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 the curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all the world there is nothing else as real and abiding.

No Santa Claus?

Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


This week's features:

It's simple mathematics, really. As the days leading to the holidays become fewer and fewer, stress levels become higher and higher. All the more reason to take a break with some of the most enjoyable films ever made. To name just four of the treats has in store.

Check Coming Attractions for dates and times (ET) for these features as well as for all the great free films on

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