'Twas The Trial About Christmas

NBC NEWS/WNYT
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POSTED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 3:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 3:09pm

Mock trial tackles controversy over authorship of "Twas The Night Before Christmas". Dan Levy reports.

(WNYT) 'Tis the week before Christmas and they wanted to show, who wrote the poem that everyone knows. In a courtroom in Troy (New York) that was heavily packed, there was a make-believe trial, with plenty of facts.

And because authorship has been disputed for a very long while, they figured to resolve things with a make-believe trial.

There were lawyers, and plaintiffs, and an honorable judge; there were spectators who filled the courtroom until no one could budge.

And to determine the author of a poem that everyone has read, they called on witnesses brought back from the dead.

No one disputes that "A Visit from St. Nicholas" -- otherwise known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas" -- was first published in the Troy Sentinel Newspaper on December 23, 1823.

What remains in question is who wrote it.

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