It’s Christmas Eve, and once again, it’s time to track the movements of that old guy who promises to give everything you ever wanted! But enough about Bernie Sanders, let’s take some time out to follow Santa Claus as he makes his yearly journey around the world.
NORAD Tracks Santa
The story of why NORAD (The North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa each year comes down to a misprinted phone number in a Sears department store ad.
The program began on December 24, 1955, when a Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper which told children that they could telephone Santa Claus and included a number for them to call. However, the telephone number was misprinted and calls instead came through to Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Colonel Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children who called in a “current location” for Santa Claus. A tradition began which continued when the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced CONAD in 1958.
In 1997, NORAD began posting Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve on a website that has grown to be a popular destination for parents and kids who want to track Santa as he makes his lightning fast deliveries.
NORAD reported that for Christmas 2013, it logged 19.58 million unique visitors to its website on Christmas Eve, and 1,200 volunteers answered 117,371 calls. Through social media, it had 146,307 Twitter followers and 1.45 million “likes” on Facebook
This year, Bing.com is supplying the processing power needed to track the jolly fat guy’s location on Christmas Eve. Visit The Official NORAD Santa Tracker in your Mac, PC, or iOS browser to view Santa’s trip around the world.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. MST (2:01 a.m. EST) Thursday, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. EST), trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NORAD also offers an iOS app to track Santa, if you’d like to follow his travels while you’re out and about. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road, because while Santa has self-driving reindeer, automotive technology hasn’t quite caught up yet!
Merry Christmas everyone!