The NORAD Follow Santa The show is a familiar part of Christmas Eve for families around the world. The North American Aerospace Defense Command holds the event annually from its headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs.
In 1955, NORAD says an incoming call to its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). When US Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup picked up the phone, a child was on the street begging for Santa.
Why would a child call the army to contact Santa? According to NORAD, it started with a newspaper ad from nearby Sears.
The department store has set up a line that children can call to talk to Santa. Except NORAD says the printed phone number is off by one digit, sending multiple calls to the base instead.
That’s the official version of today’s story. A report from Gizmodo found a story in the newspaper at the time stating that the call was simply a mistakenly dialed number from a child on November 30. Another story from the Atlantic says that That call prompted a public relations campaign to spy on Santa in December.
While there are multiple versions of events from 1955 – turning it all into a Christmas legend – the entire activity of tracking Santa is traced back to that kid’s first phone call.
The program has evolved over the years, then NORAD has published several to call for updates on Christmas Eve. In recent years, the annual activity has more than 1,000 volunteers receiving tens of thousands of phone calls.
Today, the show is probably best known for its website, which shows the locations for Santa, his sleigh, and his reindeer traveling around the world. Following in the footsteps of Santa receives millions of hits each year, along with updates on social media and other platforms.
https://kdvr.com/news/local/wrong-number-started-norad-santa-tracker/ How One Child’s Wrong Number Led to NORAD’s Santa Tracker