STATEWIDE — This year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will continue its tradition of “Tracking Santa” with the NORAD radar system called “the North Warning System.”
NORAD is a binational organization between the United States and Canada that defends North America through aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning.
The tradition was born in 1955 when a child accidentally dialed the phone number for Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper that told kids to call Santa. The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, instructed his staff to check their radar systems for indications of Santa traveling from the North Pole. In 1958, NORAD replaced CONAD and took over the tradition of tracking Santa’s flight around the world each year.
The “NORAD Tracks Santa” program is made possible by volunteers and generous contributions from 51 corporate sponsors including Microsoft, Verizon, United States Olympic Committee, The United States Coast Guard Band, NASA Space Place, and SiriusXM just to name a few.
This year, children and families can keep track of Santa’s location on the NORAD Tracks Santa website, downloadable smartphone applications through Android or Apple, and can follow NORAD’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.
Google also has its own Santa Tracker ready for Christmas this year. On Dec. 24, this website turns into a Santa Tracker where kids can follow Santa and his reindeer as they deliver presents to kids around the world.
Google’s Santa Tracker website offers kids an opportunity to learn about different Christmas traditions from all over the world through the different interactive web pages.