Santa Claus came from Troy?

Santa.jpg

Santa is a Troy boy?

By Melissa Mansfield

Quick, who are the most famous legends of Troy? Uncle Sam, Mame Faye...and Santa
Claus.

Santa Claus? Yep, the jolly old elf we know as Santa today first appeared in Troy, N.Y., 185 years ago today.

Well, sort of.

By then Saint Nicholas was well known for bringing gifts to good little children around the
world. But every country had its own concept of how St. Nick looked and traveled.

America's Santa Claus, the guy who's belly "shook when he laughed like a bowl full of
jelly," and traveled in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer made his first appearance in a little poem called "A Visit From Saint Nicholas," (yep, "T'was the Night Before Christmas") in 1823 in The Troy Sentinel.

Who wrote the poem? Historians disagree on this one. It was part of an anonymous letter to the editor, but it was quickly picked up by other papers across the country.
T'was the night before christmas.jpgA plaque at the old Sentinel building on River Street says it was Clement Moore. He claimed authorship in 1844, but poet Henry Livingston reportedly read it to his children 15 years before.

In any case, by 1860 an illustrator from Harpers added images to the poem and in 1931, the now famous Coca-Cola ads solidified the image of the guy we know as Santa Claus today.

Take that bit of trivia to the office holiday party.

Comments

...it wouldn't be THE holiday without
"T'was the night before Christmas".. kudos to the writer, whoever it was... Merry Christmas.

Interesting! I did not know that.

Coincidentally, I just received about 6 vintage Christmas & New Year postcards circa 1905, pre-coca cola Santa. No red to be found. http://bit.ly/7trZ3a

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past short week on AOA: + Daniel and the Best Dozen made a stop at the Schuyler Bakery.... (more)

Today's moment of winter

The Hudson River at Troy.... (more)

Downtown Albany, before and after

Check out these before-and-after aerial photos of Northeast cities posted by an academic institute at the University of Oklahoma. Albany is among the cities featured... (more)

"[A] federal prosecutor who doesn't give a f..."

Over at Buzzfeed Ben Smith has a quick profile/backgrounder on Preet Bharara, the US Attorney overseeing the investigation and prosecution of Sheldon Silver. It opens... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Hot chocolate? Check. Blankets? Check. Netflix? Check. Stuff to do for those of us who want to do more than huddle under blankets with hot... (more)

Recent Comments

[A]nother factor that allows some politicians to slide into corrupt practices is the overriding notion that if they hadn't chosen to become "public servants" that they'd be making mega bucks on the corporate world. Which maybe they would. But it seems to give them license (in their own minds) to exploit any ethical grey area to make up for that loss of income.

timesunionPLUS

...has 8 comments, most recently from Bob

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from grandmastergus

Morning Blend for Jan 23

...has 1 comment, most recently from Sean

Advice for fixing old lath-and-plaster walls?

...has 9 comments, most recently from Shadi Khadivi

A quick scan of the feds' allegations against Sheldon Silver

...has 3 comments, most recently from ace