Friday, December 22, 2006

NORAD Tracks Santa

I thought that this was a cool website for kids.

NORAD Tracks Santa

On Dec. 24, 1955, a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. However, this call was not from the President or a general, it was from a girl in Colorado Springs who was following the directions in an advertisement printed in the local paper – she wanted to know the whereabouts of Santa Claus.
The ad said “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number.” However, the number was printed incorrectly in the advertisement and rang into the CONAD operations center.

On duty that night was Col. Harry Shoup, who has come to be known as the “Santa Colonel.” Col. Shoup received numerous calls that night and rather than hanging up, he had his operators find the location of Santa Claus and reported it to every child who phoned in that night.
Thus began a tradition that rolled over to the North American Aerospace Defense Command when it was formed in 1957. Today through satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters - Canadians and Americans track Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.

More than 350 volunteers man telephone hotlines and computers to answer calls and e-mails from children (and adults) from around the world every Christmas Eve. Live updates are provided via the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site (in six languages) to keep curious children and their families informed about where Santa really is and if it’s time to get to bed.

In November and December 2005, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site clocked nearly 1 billion web hits from 204 countries and territories around the world. About 563,000 people called the Tracks Santa hotline, and volunteers received nearly 7,000 e-mails from children around the globe.

NORAD Tracks Santa has become a truly, magical and global phenomenon, delighting generations of families everywhere.
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