Every year since I first heard about it, I load up NORAD tracks Santa on Christmas Eve.
In 1955, a newspaper offered a telephone number so that children could track Santa. They printed the wrong number though, and accidentally gave the number to CONAD Continental Air Defence Command. Colonel Harry Shoup was on the other end when the first call came through and he was terrified as the phone it came through on, meant it was either the Pentagon or the Commander-in-Chief (President of USA) on the other end and the call would not be pleasant. When a little girl asked if he was really Santa, Shoup was expecting to see his colleagues laughing at him, but they were all as stunned as he was. Over the course of that evening, calls kept flooding in and Shoup pulled several of his men aside and had them answer the phone to the children who called in.
Call me on my private phone
and I will talk to you personally
any time day or night.”
In 1958, CONAD was replaced by NORAD North American Aerospace Defence Command and a phone number was installed that was specifically for tracking Santa. Now Santa can be followed via the internet, twitter, Facebook, or the app. When Colonel Harry Shoup passed away in 2009, he was hailed as “Colonel Santa” as he changed the lives of so many children.