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NORAD Tracks Santa
It’s Christmas Eve! And you know what that means: Santa is making his way around the world with Rudolph and the rest of his reindeer crew. What better way to spend the day than following Santa’s journey around the world and learning all about the places he visits? The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has taken the lead in tracking Santa, bringing joy to the young and young at heart since 1955.
NORAD is a bi-national defense organization for the United States and Canada “charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.” But once a year, they have the extra special mission of tracking Santa’s journey, providing real-time updates about his location as well as videos and information about many of his stops, making it the perfect activity for those tiny travelers in your life or simply for anyone with some holiday wanderlust.
NORAD’s relationship with Santa began as a happy accident. Back in 1955, Sears Roebuck & Co. misprinted Santa’s number on an advertisement. When children tried calling, they reached the Commander-in-Chief’s hotline for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), the predecessor to NORAD. The director of the operation’s center, Colonel Harry Shoup, didn’t want the children to be disappointed, and so he had his staff check their radar and look for Santa throughout the day so that they could give updates as the children called in. And with that, a merry partnership was born and has continued to grow throughout the past six decades.
NORAD’s Santa Tracker can be visited via their special website, noradsanta.org, and is available in multiple languages. But there’s more to see at the website than Old Saint Nick’s journey. Head to the Santa’s Village section of the website where you can learn about Santa and holiday traditions around the world at the Library, listen to holiday songs at the Music Stage, and watch some videos about Santa and his relationship with NORAD at the Theater. Don’t forget to check out the Secret Santa Files at the NORAD HQ building to learn more about NORAD’s role in tracking Santa.
And if you’re out on the road and want an update on Santa’s location, you can give NORAD a call at 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). Hundreds of volunteers will spend the day answering calls and providing updates, so you can get home and have milk and cookies ready before Santa arrives!
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