When Santa Claus leaves the North Pole on Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will be watching.
For years, NORAD has used its high-tech radar, satellites, “Santa cams” and jet fighters to track his journey across the globe.
Today, children can follow along with Santa’s trip, and explore the North Pole, at www.noradsanta.org.
The tradition began back in 1955. A child, calling a phone number in a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement, asked for Santa, according to the NORAD website.
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But the number had been printed wrong, and instead the child reached the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.
Col. Harry Shoup, the director of operations at the time, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa, and children who called were given updates on his location.
Since then, NORAD staff members, family and friends have responded to phone calls and emails from children around the world.