It’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is on his way.
For the 64th time, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is keeping tabs on the jolly old elf as he makes his way around the world.
“In addition to our day-to-day mission of defending North America, we are proud to carry on the tradition of tracking Santa as he travels along his yuletide flight path,” Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, said.
“The same radars, satellites and interceptors employed on December 24 are used year-round to defend Canadian and American airspace from threats.”
It all started in 1955 when a local newspaper ad told children they could call Santa directly.
Just one problem: The contact number was misprinted. So instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD.
The commander on duty quickly figured out what was going on and assured the children that he was Santa. And so, the tradition began.
Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families.