NORAD started the tradition after a local store’s advertisement for kids to call Santa on a special “hotline” included a misprinted telephone number. Instead of reaching Mr. Kris Kringle, the number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first “Santa” call and had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed, there were signs of Santa, and children who called in were given an update on Santa’s position. Thus, the tradition was born.
A family friendly program by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to track Santa December 24th around the world using military sensors and technology. The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, goes live each Dec. 1 with games, videos, information and more! Then we track Santa Dec. 24.