Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus The Aftermath

About the famous newspaper editorial about whether or not Santa Claus is real with the classic line Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.


Francis P. Church's editorial was an immediate sensation, and became one of the most famous ever written anywhere in the world. The New York Sun published it annually before Christmas (uncredited to Church) until 1949, when the paper went out of business. Shortly after the editorial appeared, Church married, had no children, and died in April, 1906.

As for the little girl, Virginia O'Hanlon, she grew up to get a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College at the age of 21, obtained her Master's from Columbia the following year, and in 1912 became a teacher, later a principal, in the New York City school system. She married, became Virginia Douglas, and had offspring of her own. After 47 years as an educator, she retired, and during all those years she received a steady stream of mail about her Santa Claus letter. She replied to all correspondents by sending them an attractive printed copy of the Church editorial.

Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.

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