NY mock trial for ‘The Night Before Christmas’

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A roadside Santa Claus in Lake George, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A roadside Santa Claus in Lake George, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — It’s a controversy whose roots trace back nearly two centuries to a holiday poem first published in an upstate New York newspaper: Who really wrote “A Visit from St. Nicholas”?

This week, a mock trial will be held in a courtroom in Troy, where the now-classic also known as “The Night Before Christmas” was first published anonymously in the Sentinel newspaper on Dec. 23, 1823.

The Daily Gazette of Schenectady reports that Wednesday’s trial will have a prominent local lawyer representing Clement Clark Moore, a wealthy scholar from New York City who’s credited with writing the poem.

Other attorneys will argue the side of Henry Livingston Jr., whose descendants claim the gentleman farmer from the Hudson Valley was the true author.

Actors portraying Moore and Livingston will take the stand during the courtroom showdown.

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