This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

The Santa Tracker tradition started with this Sears ad, which instructed children to call Santa on what turned out to be a secret military hotline. Kids today can call 1-877 HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) to talk to NORAD staff about Santa's exact location. 

Terri remembers her dad had two phones on his desk, including a red one. "Only a four-star general at the Pentagon and my dad had the number," she says.

"This was the '50s, this was the Cold War, and he would have been the first one to know if there was an attack on the United States," Rick says.

The red phone rang one day in December 1955, and Shoup answered it, Pam says. "And then there was a small voice that just asked, 'Is this Santa Claus?' "

His children remember Shoup as straight-laced and disciplined, and he was annoyed and upset by the call and thought it was a joke — but then, Terri says, the little voice started crying.

"And Dad realized that it wasn't a joke," her sister says. "So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho'd and asked if he had been a good boy and, 'May I talk to your mother?' And the mother got on and said, 'You haven't seen the paper yet? There's a phone number to call Santa. It's in the Sears ad.' Dad looked it up, and there it was, his red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus."

"It got to be a big joke at the command center. You know, 'The old man's really flipped his lid this time. We're answering Santa calls,' " Terri says.

"The airmen had this big glass board with the United States on it and Canada, and when airplanes would come in they would track them," Pam says.

"And Christmas Eve of 1955, when Dad walked in, there was a drawing of a sleigh with eight reindeer coming over the North Pole," Rick says.

"Dad said, 'What is that?' They say, 'Colonel, we're sorry. We were just making a joke. Do you want us to take that down?' Dad looked at it for a while, and next thing you know, Dad had called the radio station and had said, 'This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh.' Well, the radio stations would call him like every hour and say, 'Where's Santa now?' " Terri says.

all photos: Courtesy of NORAD

read more here: http://www.npr.org/2014/12/19/371647099/norads-santa-tracker-began-...

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started by a typo. and this officer made that first childs when he found out it was  no joke. than had two of his men take over the phone calls. great job Colonel Shoup.

I wonder if the liberals would say that NORAD tracking Santa Clause is considered  under the ( separation  of church and state) due to the fact that Santa represents Christmas, and Norad is a government agency.

if they do screw them for ruining all kids and adults fun of tracking Santa.

Great story!

How cool, I wondered how that got started. Merry Christmas!

Great job Colonel  Shoup!!!  The Santa Tracker has made a lot of children in this country happy for many, many years.  I remember my grandchildren tacking Santa with NORAD.  I hope Obama doesn't get word a child is enjoying or has enjoyed it, he would make sure it never happened again!!! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

My children love the Santa tracker! I am thankful for the typo as it has brought much joy to my family. Merry Christmas everyone and a God Bless!

its stories like this that makes up the greatness of America......over the past 6 years our country has been depressed into a gulag with a tyrannical ruler that bypasses the people and enacts his unilateral edicts.

THANK YOU for your service!

Very nice story in this time of unrest and corruption.

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ALERT ALERT

GOP Activist Investigating Hillary Clinton’s Lost Emails
Found Dead — Apparent Suicide By Black Plastic Bag Republican activist Peter Smith was found dead in his hotel room in May 2017 in Rochester, Minnesota.

The hotel staff found Smith with a black plastic bag on his head. He was trying to obtain Hillary Clinton’s lost emails.

UPDATE: Mueller and Congressional investigators have interviewed Smith’s acquaintances several times. Our sources say there is much more to this story.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Peter W. Smith, a Republican political activist and financier from Chicago who mounted an effort to obtain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, died on May 14 after asphyxiating himself in a hotel room in Rochester, Minn., according to local authorities. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Smith’s body was found by a hotel clerk in the Aspen Suites hotel, located across the street from the Mayo Clinic, according to a Rochester Police Department report. An associate of Mr. Smith said that he had recently visited the clinic. A representative for the facility wouldn’t confirm if Mr. Smith was a patient.

Mr. Smith died about 10 days after an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he recounted his attempts to acquire what he believed were thousands of emails stolen from Mrs. Clinton’s private email server. He implied that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then serving as the senior national security adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, was aware of his efforts…

…The police report said Mr. Smith was found by a hotel clerk with a plastic bag around his head attached tightly with black rubber bands. Mr. Smith “left documentation on why he committed suicide, medical records, his written obituary, and life insurance” on a table in his room, the report said.

OMG

Massachusetts Man Arrested After Trying To Hire
A Hit Man On Twitter To Kill ICE Agents For $500

A 33-year-old lefty from Cambridge, Massachusetts named Brandon Ziobrowski was arrested Thursday after offering anyone on Twitter $500 to kill ICE agents.

Ziobrowski also expressed his desire to slit John McCain’s throat in several tweets.

FOX News reported:

A Massachusetts man was arrested in New York on Thursday after trying to hire a hit man on Twitter to kill ICE agents for $500 and sharing his desire to slit the throat of Sen. John McCain, federal officials said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said that Brandon Ziobrowski, 33, from Cambridge, Mass. was charged with one count of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat and injure another person for the alleged Twitter posts this year.

Federal officials said Ziobrowski tweeted a murder for hire solicitation to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for $500, and repeatedly tweeted his desire to slit the throat of McCain, R-Ariz.

“The agents and officers out there enforcing federal laws are doing their job, plain and simple,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a news conference. “There is a difference between public debate and putting others in fear of their lives.”

Federal officials said Ziobrowski in March started tweeting threatening messages against federal agents that work for ICE.

On July 2, the 33-year-old allegedly tweeted: “I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills ICE agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this lets make this work.”

The Justice Department released a statement on the arrest of Ziobrowski:

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