“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Virginia O'Hanlon

1889 - 1971

Virginia O'Hanlon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2021
1. Virginia O'Hanlon Marker
Inscription.  This site, 115 West 95th Street, was once the residence of Virginia O'Hanlon, who in 1897, at the age of eight, wrote a letter to The New York Sun asking, "Is there a Santa Claus?” Editor Francis Pharcellus Church was inspired to respond with the most famous newspaper editorial in American history. Published in the Sun on September 21, 1897, Church's editorial went beyond the child's simple question to uphold the faith that sustains life, confirming that "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

Mrs. Laura Virginia O'Hanlon (Douglas) went on to become an educator and a staunch supporter of children's rights. In 1961, she reaffirmed her belief in the spirit of Santa Claus, saying it "stands for love and sharing, the joy of giving and the extension of it to all people."
Erected 2009.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsWomen. A significant historical date for this entry is September 21, 1897.

Virginia O'Hanlon Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 30, 2021
2. Virginia O'Hanlon Marker - wide view
The marker is visible here between the two windows on the ground level.
Click or scan to see
this page online
40° 47.555′ N, 73° 58.12′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on West 95th Street west of Columbus Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 West 95th Street, New York NY 10025, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (approx. ¼ mile away); St. Gregory's Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Teresa Carreño (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ballet Hispanico of New York (approx. 0.3 miles away); Claremont Riding Academy (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Claremont Riding Academy (approx. 0.3 miles away); Public School 166 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Barnett Newman (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . .
1. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus (Wikipedia). "In 1897, Dr. Philip O'Hanlon, a coroner's assistant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia O'Hanlon (1889–1971), whether Santa Claus, really existed. O'Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a then prominent New York City newspaper, assuring her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." In so doing, Dr. O'Hanlon had unwittingly given one of the paper's editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, an opportunity to rise above the simple question and address the philosophical
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issues behind it." (Submitted on May 6, 2021.) 

2. Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus (Huffpost, March 18, 2010). "On a chilly Friday evening, December 4, a moving event took place at The Studio School, 115-117 West 95th Street. We gathered to honor the life and legacy of Virginia O’Hanlon. A large gathering, including three generations of the O’Hanlon family, attended the ceremony to dedicate an historic plaque in Virginia’s name." (Submitted on May 6, 2021.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 6, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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Jun. 16, 2021