“Yes Virginia…”: Popular Christmas tale’s Capital Region ties

COLUMBIA COUNTY – “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” is one of the nation’s most-well known Christmas stories, but many in the Capital Region do not know that Virginia – the little girl who was its subject – lived in our area for a time.

When Virginia O’Hanlan-Douglas was an 8-year old girl in 1890’s Manhattan she sent a letter to the New York Sun newspaper asking if Santa Claus was real. The editors’ response, which was published in the paper, has become a Christmas tradition for generations now.

O’Hanlan spent her final years at a nursing home in Valatie and, in 1965, the then 76-year old read that famous response to children at the North Chatham Library.

A NEWS10 ABC camera was there for the special reading, and you can watch this rare footage from our archives by clicking here.

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