Every once in a while you come across a news article that makes you laugh out loud. I found one such article today. It concerns the origins of why NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world.
It seems back in 1955, Sears Roebuck & Co ran an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper telling kids to call Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Except the phone number was printed incorrectly. What was printed was actually the hotline for the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which is also in Colorado Springs. The then Director of Operations was Colonel Harry Shoup and rather than be irritated by the flood of calls, Col. Shoup played along and ordered his staff to start watching out for signs of movement at the North Pole and relayed this information to the kids who were calling.
In 1958, the Canadian and US governments created a bi-national organization for air defense called the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Even today, NORAD continues the tradition of tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world with the Official NORAD Santa Tracker.
Col. Shoup passed away in 2009, however his legacy of the Santa Tracker lives on.
Merry Christmas to you all.