[san-tuh; for 2 also Sp. sahn-tah]
Sophia, Santa: see Hagia Sophia.
Lucia, Santa: see Lucy, Saint.

City (pop., 2000: 147,595), western California, U.S. Santa Rosa lies at the foot of the Sonoma Mountains, northwest of San Francisco. Founded in 1833 and incorporated in 1868, it developed as a processing and shipping centre for the agricultural produce of the Sonoma valley. The economy relies on retail services catering to an increasing residential population. The city was the site of the home and gardens of plant breeder Luther Burbank. Nearby is the Jack London Memorial.

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or Ysabel

Island, central Solomon Islands, western South Pacific Ocean. Located 50 mi (80 km) northwest of Guadalcanal, Santa Isabel is about 130 mi (209 km) long and 20 mi (32 km) wide at its widest point. Mount Marescot, rising 4,000 ft (1,219 m), is the highest peak. The island was under German control from 1886 to 1899; Rekata Bay on the northwestern coast was a Japanese military base during World War II. Coconut plantations and timber development are important to the economy.

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Historic wagon trail from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S. An important commercial route from 1821 to 1880, it was opened by William Becknell and used by merchant wagon caravans. From the Missouri River the trail followed the divide between the tributaries of the Arkansas and Kansas rivers to the site of modern Great Bend, Kan., then proceeded along the Arkansas River. At the western end three routes turned south to Santa Fe, the shortest being the Cimarron Cutoff through the valley of the Cimarron River. When the Santa Fe railroad was completed in 1880, use of the trail ceased.

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City (pop., 2000: 62,203), capital of New Mexico, U.S. It lies at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Founded by the Spanish in 1610, it was the administrative, military, and missionary headquarters of a vast, sparsely populated Spanish colonial province during the 18th century. In the Mexican War in 1846, the city was occupied by U.S. forces under Gen. Stephen Kearny. After New Mexico was ceded to the U.S., Santa Fe became the capital of the territory in 1851. In 1912 it became the state capital. It was the western terminus of the Santa Fe Trail. It is a major tourist centre noted for Indian and Mexican handicrafts, and its large Spanish-American population has made it the cultural capital of the southwest. A popular summer resort, it also attracts winter skiers.

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Port city (pop., 2001: 188,477), capital of the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. Founded in 1494, it occupies a small plain between two usually waterless ravines. It was attacked by the British in 1657 and 1797; the latter assault was led by Horatio Nelson. After 1877 growth was spurred by the banana and tomato trade and, later, by harbour improvements and tourism. In 1936 Francisco Franco, then captain general of the Canary Islands, organized from Santa Cruz the national uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War. Industries include oil refining.

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City (pop., 2001: 1,116,059), east-central Bolivia. Founded by Spaniards from Paraguay in 1561 at what is now San José de Chiquitos, it was attacked repeatedly by Indians until 1595. It then was moved to its present location and renamed Santa Cruz de la Sierra. In 1811 its inhabitants declared their independence from Spain. Bolivia's largest city, it is a trade centre for crops, including sugarcane and rice, grown in the surrounding area. It has an oil refinery and is the seat of a university.

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or Santa Claus

Merry Old Santa Claus by Thomas Nast.

(flourished 4th century, Myra, Lycia, Asia Minor; feast day December 6) Minor saint associated with Christmas. Probably bishop of Myra, he is reputed to have provided dowries for three poor girls to save them from prostitution and to have restored to life three children who had been chopped up by a butcher. He became the patron saint of Russia and Greece, of charitable fraternities and guilds, and of children, sailors, unmarried girls, merchants, and pawnbrokers. After the Reformation his cult disappeared in all the Protestant countries of Europe except Holland, where he was known as Sinterklaas. Dutch colonists brought the tradition to New Amsterdam (now New York City), and English-speaking Americans adopted him as Santa Claus, who is believed to live at the North Pole and to bring gifts to children at Christmas.

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Island dependencies, United Kingdom. Located in the English Channel 10–30 mi (16–48 km) off the western coast of France, they cover an area of 75 sq mi (194 sq km) and include the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, and Sark and several islets. They are domestically independent of the British government. Structures, including menhirs, are evidence of prehistoric occupation. A part of Normandy in the 10th century AD, the islands came under British rule at the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The islets of Ecrehous and Les Minquiers were disputed between England and France until 1953, when the International Court of Justice confirmed British sovereignty. The dispute revived in the late 20th century because sovereignty determines the rights to the continental shelf's economic development (especially petroleum). The Channel Islands were the only British territory occupied by Germany in World War II. The islands are famous for their cattle breeds, including the Jersey and Guernsey.

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City (pop., 2000: 92,325), southern California, U.S. Located on the Pacific coast, Santa Barbara was named for the patron saint of mariners in 1602, and it became the site of a Spanish military post in 1782. The mission of Santa Barbara was built in 1786; it is the western headquarters of the Franciscan Order and has been in continuous use since its founding. The city developed into a busy port and was incorporated as a city in 1850. After the arrival (1887) of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Santa Barbara became a popular seaside resort. Its economy is bolstered by livestock farms and petroleum production. Its educational institutions include the University of California at Santa Barbara (1891).

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City (pop., 2007: 204,340), northwestern El Salvador. It is one of the country's largest cities and a major coffee-producing centre with one of the world's largest coffee mills. Other industries include the manufacture of cotton textiles, furniture, and leather goods. There are summer resorts at nearby Lake Coatepeque, and the ruined Indian city of Chalchuapa is 9 mi (14 km) west. Santa Ana Volcano, which reaches 7,755 ft (2,365 m), is also nearby.

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Santa's Little Helper is the Simpson family's pet dog. He is a charming but untrained Greyhound.


In his first appearance in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire[1990]", Homer was relying on a Christmas bonus to buy presents, but didn't get it. He was relying on this bonus because the jar of Christmas money that Marge accumulates for the family's Christmas treats was disposed of to pay for the removal of a tattoo that Bart got on his arm. Homer took the small amount of Christmas money he made working as a Santa at the Springfield Mall and bet it at the dog track. He had inside information on what dog was going to win, but instead bet on the "long shot," Santa's Little Helper, believing his name to be a sign. Santa's Little Helper finished last, and his frustrated owner abandoned him. Homer and Bart brought him home, and everyone was so happy with him that it was a merry Christmas after all.

In various episodes, Santa's Little Helper can be seen chewing on the newspaper and other objects in the Simpsons' household, tearing up the furniture, digging holes in the backyard and eating food from the living room table. During the second-season episode "Bart's Dog Gets an F", Homer and Marge are fed up with the dog's rambunctious ways and threaten to give away Santa's Little Helper unless he graduates from an obedience school. Santa's Little Helper's life with the Simpsons was not always easy: he nearly died of gastric torsion (referred to in the show as a "twisting of the stomach") during the third season because Homer initially couldn't afford $750 for the required operation, and he also broke two legs when Bart's tree house was demolished by Mr. Burns' oil well ("Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)").

In the episode "The Canine Mutiny" during the 8th season, Santa's Little Helper was shortly abandoned by Bart for Laddie, a purebred and very well-trained dog he bought from a mail-order catalog together with various other expensive gifts and gadgets. To do that, Bart used a credit card he applied for under the name of his dog, yet the credit card company misread the form and issued a card to Mr. "Santos L. Halper". Laddie learned many tricks that Santa's Little Helper was completely unable to perform—most notably a back flip, CPR and using a toilet (however, in "The Seven-Beer Snitch", Santa's Little Helper demonstrates the ability to fly a plane). The Simpson family nearly forgot about their old pet, and Bart eventually gave him away instead of Laddie when repo men take back everything he fraudulently purchased. Feeling guilty about this disloyalty and bored with his too perfect new dog, Bart tried to get Santa's Little Helper back. When he finally found him, Santa's Little Helper was serving as a seeing-eye dog for a blind man named Mr. Mitchell, but eventually decided to return to his former owner, Bart.

In the episode "Stop, Or My Dog Will Shoot!", he becomes a great hero after he saves Homer in a cornfield maze, and then becomes enrolled as a police dog, teamed up with Officer Lou. Both Lou and Santa's Little Helper make a good team, foiling crimes together. After biting Bart's left leg (because he got angry when the court stated that he violated one of the police codes while catching Snake Jailbird), Santa's Little Helper is sent off by the Simpson family to live with Lou. Later on, once Springfield Elementary is in danger and Bart isn't able to escape, Santa's Little Helper comes in to save him, and goes back to living with the Simpsons.


He sired twenty-five puppies with She's The Fastest in Two Dozen and One Greyhounds. Their names were Rover, Fido, Rex, Spot, Rover II, Fido II, Rex II, Cleo, Dave, Jay, Paul, Branford, Dave II, Jay II, Paul II, Branford II, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Donner, Blitzen, Grumpy II, King, Queenie, Prince and The Puppy Formerly Known As Prince (Note that there are actually 26 names). Later on he sired another litter with Dr. Hibbert's poodle, Rosa Barks in Today I Am a Clown. There were at least 8 puppies in this litter , these puppies were given away to townspeople.


The name "Santa's Little Helper" was chosen for the dog because Homer needed an "omen", said executive producer Al Jean, that would inspire him to bet on him at the dog track in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".


Frank Welker voiced Santa's Little Helper between 1991 and 2002, but has not appeared since "The Lastest Gun in the West". Dan Castellaneta (who has always voiced Santa's Little Helper for bit parts) now provides the voice after Welker left the show, asking for a raise because the voices were hurting his throat.

See also


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