Sears & Roebuck Error Led to Today’s NORAD Santa Tracker

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Image: Coated

Where’s Santa now? The NORAD Santa Tracker lets you see where Santa is delivering gifts in real time on Google Maps.

Watch Santa’s flight path on www.noradsanta.org.

How did the National Air and Space Operations Center get in charge of tracking Santa? It turns out that an error by Sears & Roebuck was to blame:

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel 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 his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to Christmas Eve phone calls and emails from children. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Last year, millions of people who wanted to know Santa’s whereabouts visited the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide Christmas Eve updates on Santa’s journey.

Kids can also call NORAD to track Santa. The number is 877-Hi-NORAD. Or send an email to noradtrackssanta@gmail.com