NORAD Santa Tracking Begins, 1955

1955NoradSantaAs you are probably aware, each Christmas, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)¬†tracks Santa Claus as he travels around the world. Obviously, there’s a practical reason for this. If his supersonic travels were mistaken for something else, then the results of the error could be quite dramatic, to say the least.

NORAD first began sharing this information with children 60 years ago, in 1955. Initially, this was the result of another mixup, albeit a less dramatic one. A Sears store in Colorado published the ad shown at the top of the page, purportedly showing Santa’s previously unlisted telephone number. Unfortunately, the ad carried the wrong number. Instead of Santa’s number, the store had listed the number of the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor. Initially baffled, the officer answering the phone ultimately figured out what was going on, and had his men check the radar. He then gave reports of Santa’s current location.

NORAD now uses the Internet to disseminate this information, which is available at

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