NORAD tracking Santa for 65th year

Girls and boys around the world will be able to track Santa’s annual Christmas Eve journey by computer and cell phone Sunday as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reveals Santa’s minute-by-minute whereabouts as he takes his annual airborne trek from country to country.

The United States and Canada bi-national organization, which defends the homeland through aerospace warnings and control and maritime warnings for North America, takes on an additional role on Christmas Eve.

More than 1,250 Canadian and American uniformed personnel and Department of Defense civilians volunteer their time on December 24th to answer thousands of phone calls and emails that flood in from around the world, in addition to providing the visual electronics for watching the trip by computer or cell phone.

Started 67 years ago
The tradition of tracking Santa started in 1955 when a young child accidentally dialed the unlisted phone number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center upon seeing an newspaper advertisement telling kids to call Santa.

The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, answered the phone and instructed his staff to check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole.

The tradition was born, continued and expanded upon when NORAD was formed three years later.

Where to see it
The main page for tracking Santa is available at operations3jncPXD, where Christmas music and the countdown already is occurring at this writing, with the history of the activity, some of which is tongue in cheek but can be fascinating for both children and adults, at

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