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

 “Acosta, You Are A Dickhead”.... 


Above: Sebastian Gorka, Jim Acosta

“Jim Acosta is actually worse than anyone imagined.”

Former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka engaged in a loud verbal altercation with CNN‘s Jim Acosta Thursday, according to the Daily Caller‘s Virginia Kruta.

According to multiple witnesses, Acosta made a flippant remark to Gorka – who just launched his SALEM Radio Network show “America First,” telling him that media-related meetings with the president were for “real journalists” only.

Acosta walked in then, according to Gorka, touched his arm and said “Why are you here? This place is for journalists only,” then walked away. He also noted that the incident occurred in front of fellow SALEM host Mike Gallagher and Sirius Patriot XM host David Webb — and explained that, although they had been in the same building on several occasions, he and Acosta had never officially met prior to this incident.

“Abilio ‘Jim’ Acosta, you are a dickhead,” Gorka fired back at Acosta. – Daily Caller

“For the next 40 minutes, he hid in the back and didn’t come out as I was right by the exit, until I went to the Oval Office,” Gorka told the Caller, adding “Jim Acosta is actually worse than anyone imagined. He’s definitely not a journalist, and he is clearly a cowering coward. I just feel sorry for anyone who is in the White House pool with him and know he is hated by all the actual journalists in the White House.”

John Fredericks@jfradioshow

Wow! Unbelievably NASTY decorum in White House Press Briefing room! @Acosta walks by new radio show host @SebGorka and says to him: “Why are you here? This place is for journalists only.” Really Jim? And too? Welcome to the press room, Seb!

Vince Coglianese of the Daily Caller was there for the exchange, and said “The whole room went silent as Gorka chewed [Acosta] out.”

Sirius Patriot XM host David Webb confirmed the incident, saying “I was right next to Sebastian and he reported accurately what Acosta said. Acosta was serious and condescending.”

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David Webb   @davidwebbshow

Yes ⁦@Acosta⁩ we do belong in the Press Room. ⁦@SebGorka

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