Episode 22: Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus!

Hello and welcome back to Breakfast with Mom!  We are going to conclude our Christmas series.  Today’s Christmas story takes place in New York City 1897.  I found this story when I watched the 2009 movie on Netflix.  I’m sure some of our listeners have seen the movie’s thumbnail while surfing Netflix for a Christmas movie but may not know it was based on a true story.

Laura Virginia O’Hanlon was born on July 20, 1889, in New York City, to Philip F. O’Hanlon, a surgeon who also worked as a coroner for the New York City Police Department, and Laura Lincoln O’Hanlon.  

In 1897, Virginia asked her father whether Santa Claus existed. His answer did not convince her, and she decided to pose the question to the New York newspaper The Sun.  Sources conflict over whether her father suggested writing the letter or she elected to on her own.  In her letter, Virginia wrote that her father had told her, “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.”  Virginia later told The Sun that her father thought the newspaper would be “too busy” to respond to her question and had said, “Write if you want to,” but not to be disappointed if she did not get a response.