Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 04:04:58 -0500 From: "Barry A. Popik" 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 online? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------ TYPO When I pressed "send" and waited a few minutes, I realized I misspelled "philanthropy"....It's four a.m.