Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 04:04:58 -0500

From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Sidewalk Santa

I don't know why OED doesn't have an entry for this!

The earliest "Sidewalk Santa" on a Worldcat search is from an album

called PEACE by the Rotary Connection (1968). "Sidewalk Santa" is the title

of a song.

I checked THE VOLUNTEER GAZETTE by the Volunteers of America. This is

from December 1962, pg. 2, col. 2:

Each year, New York City opens its heart--and purse strings--to the

Volunteers of America Sidewalk Santas who turn up on the metropolitan scene

on the day after Thanksgiving to begin the annual holiday fund drive that

provides aid for the city's needy. Our cover photo show a young Gothamite

welcoming the Sidewalk St. Nicks.

(same issue, pg. 11)

These are the famous bell-ringing Santa Clauses, sent out by the

Volunteers of America every year since the 1890s. (...) Sidewalk Santas come

from all professions.

I didn't find "Sidewalk Santa" in the previous volume, which contained

Dec. 1959, Dec. 1960, and Dec. 1961. I didn't check any earlier VOLUNTEER

GAZETTE volumes--it might be there. I did check "Santa Claus" in every

Reader's Guide, without finding an earlier cite.

A next step for these things is the Tamony Collection--why aren't they