NORTH POLE — Santa’s flight will once again be tracked by NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, on Dec. 24. To monitor Santa’s whereabouts online, go to http://www.noradsanta.org.
According to its Web site, NORAD and its predecessor have tracked Santa’s flight every year for more than 50 years.
It started in 1955, after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck’s ad urged children to call Santa. But the ad misprinted the number. Instead of reaching Santa, children called the Continental Air Defense Command’s hot line. The director of operations at the time, Col. Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on Santa’s location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created the joint air defense command, NORAD, which took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since then, NORAD staff volunteer to respond to phone calls and emails from children around the world. Millions of people track Santa’s whereabouts by visiting the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site.
The media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.