As Santa makes his journey around the world delivering toys to children, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tracking his every move.
The man in red took off early Sunday morning first making stops to boys and girls in New Zealand and Australia.
NORAD’s predecessor CONAD (The Continental Air Defense Command) started tracking Santa in 1955 by chance.
According to the NORAD Tracks Santa website because of the Cold War there was a direct phone line to the center's director of operations at the CONAD operations center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Its purpose: To inform CONAD that United States was at war with the Soviet Union.
In December 1955, the phone rang.
Fortunately for Col. Harry Shoup, the director of operations, the United States had not gone to war with Russia. Instead of the president, it was a little girl in Colorado Springs. The child, was following the directions in a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement printed in a local newspaper.
The ad read: “Hey, Kiddies! Call me direct and be sure and dial the correct number.” The number in the advertisement was one digit off and instead of getting the local department store it went directly to CONAD.
The child asked Shoup if he was Santa Claus. Shoup paused, but he recovered and replied, “Yes, I am.” More calls started coming in.
Shoup eventually had his Airmen take over telling them to that they now had an additional duty: Whoever answered the phone was Santa Claus.
More than sixty years later, the tradition continues.
Now a team of volunteers helps NORAD track Santa on Christmas Eve. To track where he’s going next you can call 1-877-HI-NORAD or email@example.com. You can also see his journey below or click on any of the links at the top of the page to track Santa's journey.