Presentation on theme: "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. Laura Virginia O’Hanlon was born in 1889. At the age of 8, unable to get a straight answer from her parents, she."— Presentation transcript:
Laura Virginia O’Hanlon was born in 1889. At the age of 8, unable to get a straight answer from her parents, she wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper asking about the existence of Santa Claus. The response to her letter became the most reprinted editorial ever published.
Frances Pharcellus Church wrote the beautiful response to Virginia’s classic question. His editorial was first published in the New York Sun on September 21, 1897. As a young man he had covered the Civil War for the New York Times and then went on to be lead editorial writer for his brother’s newspaper, the New York Sun. At the newspaper, he specialized in religious and controversial issues. His editorial response to Virginia was first published anonymously as was the policy at the newspaper, and it was not until after his death in 1906 that he was credited with having written the eloquent answer to Virginia’s letter questioning the existence of Santa Claus. The New York Sun would continue to reprint the editorial every year until the newspaper closed in 1950.
Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas married and had one child. Her husband left her shortly before the birth of their daughter. Miss O’Hanlon earned her master’s degree and doctorate and became an educator and later administrator in the New York City school system for over forty years. Miss O’Hanlon was a strong advocate for children believing in the importance of play. She was a true New Yorker and had an apartment in Greenwich village. She loved baseball. Miss O’Hanlon always dressed up wearing high heels and pearls. Throughout her life, she received letters asking about her letter to the New York Sun; she answered every one and included a copy of Mr. Church’s editorial in every letter.
Two years before her death, Miss O’Hanlon was visited by Santa Claus. She told Santa she still believed.
What is an editorial? An editorial is an article published in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher or editor/s. The intent is to persuade the readers to share the same opinion of the writer.
skeptical (adjective) having doubt skepticism (noun) doubt or disbelief
intellect (noun) the power of knowing; the capacity for knowledge
Why has the editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” remained so popular? 1.The story of Santa Claus is an all-around cheery story, no villains or sinister forces. 2.The story reminds adults of when they were children. 3.The editorial evokes memories of the past when times were simpler. 4.The language is simple, lyrical, and beautiful.
Six years ago, Macy’s department store, inspired by the true story of Virginia O’Hanlon, launched their Believe campaign to benefit Make-A-Wish foundation.
Sharing in the spirit of belief and childhood wonder found in the story of “Yes, Virginia”, Macy’s invites its customers of all ages to write letters to Santa. For each letter received by December 24, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A- Wish helping to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Make-A-Wish gives very ill children hope, strength, and joy. Most health professionals believe a wish-come-true can have a positive impact on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, and they grant a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. They have granted more than 226,000 wishes since 1980 and over 14,000 wishes in 2012—the most ever in one year.