70 years ago in The Villager

Dec. 21, 1933

* “In no section of New York is a more general and sincere expression of Christmas sentiment being given this year than in Greenwich Village and Washington Square…. The Christmas spirit is everywhere,” reported The Villager’s Page 1 lead story, headlined “Community ready for Xmas.” The “chief single observance” would be the Christmas tree and carol singing beneath the Washington Sq. Arch on Sunday, where Parks Department workers had just placed a 35-ft.-tall tree on its base, to be decorated with “500 or more colored lights” and decorations and topped by a “beautiful star.” The observance was sponsored by the Washington Sq. Association. Later in the evening, the Sullivan-MacDougal Neighbors planned to hold a carol gathering of their own in their garden enclosure.

* The Villager reprinted in its entirety the famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial from the Sept. 21, 1897, New York Sun, answering the question of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon of 115 W. 95th St., who asked, “Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”

* The Hotel Brevoort at Fifth Ave. and Eighth St. promised “the traditional flowing bowl and groaning board for an old-time Christmas dinner,” for $1.50.

* The Girl Scouts of Greenwich Village and Chelsea held a Christmas party at Textile High School at 19th St. and Ninth Ave. More than 350 girls representing 15 troops gathered at the school with their leaders for games, carols and storytelling.