December 23rd 1823: ‘The Night Before Christmas’ published

xmas

Clement Clarke Moore (1799 – 1863)

 

On this day in 1823, the poem‘ A Visit from St. Nicholas’ or ‘The Night Before Christmas’ was published anonymously in a local newspaper in New York state. The poem is now considered to have been written by Clement Clarke Moore, who accepted authorship in 1844. Moore supposedly wrote the poem for his children, and as a distinguished professor did not want to be publicly associated with the poem. However debates endure as to the poem’s true authorship. The poem helped to establish in popular imagination the idea of Santa Claus.

 

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Handwritten version of the poem

 

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there”

 

(read the full  poem here)

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