Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia O'Hanlon

Birth
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 13 May 1971 (aged 81)
Valatie, Columbia County, New York, USA
Burial Chatham, Columbia County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 10184308 · View Source
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American Folk Figure. She penned the most famous Christmas letter of the last two centuries. As an eight-year-old girl, Virginia O'Hanlon asked her father Philip whether there was a Santa Claus. His best advice was to write to the "New York Sun" and, if she saw it in print there, she could believe it. The letter, written September 21, 1897 to the general editor of the "Sun" Francis Pharcellus Church, and its editorial response, has become a classic tale of the Christmas holiday season - "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". Virginia became a career educator and spent 47 years in the classroom and as a principal in the New York City schools. All her life she was asked whether she still believed, and delighted in providing response via printed copies of the Sun editorial. The original letter, once believed destroyed in a house fire, survives in family hands.

Bio by: Anonymous


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Anonymous
  • Added: 28 Dec 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10184308
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Virginia O'Hanlon (20 Jul 1889–13 May 1971), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10184308, citing Chatham Rural Cemetery, Chatham, Columbia County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .