The Strong Museum has one of only four known original signed manuscripts of the famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," better known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Although sometimes disputed, New York scholar Clement Clark Moore (1779-1863) allegedly wrote the poem in 1822. Published anonymously in a Troy, New York newspaper in 1823, the poem became an instant success. Christmas in the early 19th century did not often include stockings hung by the chimney with care and visions of sugarplums dancing in children's heads. Instead, a skinny, stern bishop St. Nicholas visited mostly to dispense discipline. Stripped of any Catholic associations, Moore and other authors affiliated with the New York Historical Society presented St. Nicholas as a jolly elf filling stockings with goodies. This version of Christmas as a non-religious holiday, emphasizing the importance of family life, appealed to the new nation eager to establish cultural continuity through tradition. Over the years, hundreds of parodies, as well as cartoon and song versions, have not diminished the reputation of this classic poem. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!