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NORAD Tracks Santa 2021 Official Video

The History of NORAD Tracks Santa

Do You Need to Be Asleep When Santa Arrives?

How Fast is
Santa’s Sleigh?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has started its countdown to the 2020 “Santa Tracker.”

On December 24, NORAD tracks Santa as he makes his journey around the world.

“24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks everything that flies in and around North America in defense of our homelands.,” NORAD’s website says. “On Dec. 24, we have the very special mission of also tracking Santa.”

Picture of Santa's Village from NORAD
Screenshot of NORAD’s Santa Tracker website

“The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa,” NORAD’s Santa Tracker website says. “Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD [Continental Air Defense Command] Commander-in-Chief’s operations ‘hotline.’ The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.”

Norad HQ History
Screenshot of NORAD’s Santa Tracker website

Click here to visit NORAD’s Santa Tracker website, which has a countdown to the “Santa Tracker,” holiday games for kids, holiday music, and information about Santa and NORAD.

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