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Author Topic: Dear snopes: Is there a Virginia O'Hanlon?
snopes
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Comment: DEAR EDITOR: I am 44 years old. Some of my poker buddies say
there was no such person as Virginia O'Hanlon, and that letter to the
editor of the New York Sun that she wrote about the existence of Santa
Claus in 1897 was just an invented pretext for a nice holiday message they
thought up. They say that no child would refer to her peers as "My little
friends" and the odd tribute to the reliability of the New York Sun was
obviously conjured by a staff hack keen on self-promotion.

Papa says, "If you see it in Snopes.com, it's so." Please tell me the
truth; was there a Virginia O'Hanlon?

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Ledfeather
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Shouldn't that be my little poker buddies say....

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There is absolutely no evidence that life is meant to be taken serious.

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Pondicherry Pi
Deck the Malls


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I recall an episode of Antiques Roadshow where one of Virginia's descendants brought in the original letter and a clipping of the response.

ETA: Here is a picture of it and it appears in their Appraise It Yourself section.

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If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

What the NFBSK is Glurge? Or, a link to Snopes Lingo

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Wait, here is another picture of the same (?) letter:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/news/extra/rochester_history/1225story3_news.shtml

I wonder how many original letters there are?

Here is a recording of Virginia reading her letter and talking about it on CBC radio:
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-69-412-2344/life_society/christmas_fun/clip4

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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I'm impressed that little Virginia knew how to properly use quotation marks and apostrophes at the tender age of eight.

Either our public education system has deteriorated, or she had some help from Mama.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Horse Chestnut:
I'm impressed that little Virginia knew how to properly use quotation marks and apostrophes at the tender age of eight.

Either our public education system has deteriorated, or she had some help from Mama.

She came from an educated family. I wouldn't be surprised that she could have written the letter properly on her own. Equally I wouldn't be surprised if she had some help. Nothing wrong with that!

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The quotation marks and apostrophes are fine but she didn't get along quite as well with the commas.
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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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Yeah, she missed a shot at using a semicolon there, Ganzfeld.
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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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It's okay; the editors put it in for her.
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