NORAD’s Track Santa Program Actually Began By Accident In 1955, After A Little Girl Called The Continental Air Defence Command Searching For Santa Claus Himself

sushytska - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

As children around the globe gear up for Christmas this weekend, the NORAD Tracks Santa team is preparing for a busy Saturday evening, too.

Every year, kiddos around the globe bust out their phones and computers– watching as the big man himself hops and skips from country to country to deliver millions of presents. But did you know that this tradition actually started by accident 67 years ago?

Back in 1955, a department store decided to place an advertisement in a local newspaper. But, following publication, it became apparent there had been a misprint in the store’s phone number– causing one young girl to actually call the Continental Air Defence Command (CONAD) in search of Santa Claus.

Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, a commander who had been on duty at the time, answered that little girl’s phone call.

And after realizing he was speaking to a child, the commander directed other staff members to be prepared in case they received other similar calls.

Then, Col. Shoup took out a map and did the best he could to plot Santa Claus’ gift delivery course. At that moment, the idea of a Santa Tracker was born.

Three years later, in 1958, the North American Aerospace Defense Command– also known as NORAD– was established and took over the effort.

And since that Christmas Eve night nearly seven decades ago, the Santa Tracking technology has only improved.

Previously, before the internet, children primarily kept up with St. Nick’s whereabouts by phoning a call center.

sushytska – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

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