168th Commencement: Watch Live
E. Stewart Jones, Jr. '66, Jack Casey '87, Molly Casey '12 and Judge Edward O. Spain '66 were among the participants in a mock retrial to determine the true author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas," the popular Christmas poem that first ran in a Troy, N.Y., newspaper and is more popularly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
The trial took place on Dec. 7, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. in The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court at the Rensselaer County Courthouse and was also be simulcast on a large movie screen courthouse rotunda. Jack Casey and his daughter Molly Casey were co-counsels against E. Stewart Jones Jr., with Judge Edward O. Spain presiding.
"A Visit from St. Nicholas" was first published by the now-defunct Troy Sentinel in 1823, but no author was credited at the time. Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy biblical scholar from Manhattan, has long been accepted as the author, but for nearly two centuries, the family of Henry Livingston Jr., a Hudson Valley gentleman farmer, has argued that their ancestor is the poem's true writer.
Last year's mock trial of Livingston v. Moore was intended to resolve any question of who wrote the iconic poem, but despite compelling arguments from both sides, the trial ended with a hung jury.
Artwork courtesy of Duncan Crary