PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Since 1958 NORAD has been tracking Santa to let little boys and little girls know where the jolly elf is in the world. This year is no different and Captain Ruth Castro joined KDKA Radio’s Larry Richert to give him an update on Santa’s whereabouts as well as a history lesson on the origins of NORAD tracking him.
On a daily basis, NORAD provides “protection of our North American Aerospace.” They have another responsibility on Christmas Eve, tracking Santa Claus.
NORAD tracking Santa goes all the way back to 1955 when “a call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command Operation Center,” (NORAD’s predecessor) in Colorado Springs. “An advertisement in one of our local papers from Sears asking kids to call a certain number if they wanted to talk to Santa and see where he was,” says Capt. Castro.
The number that was printed happened to be for CONAD and instead of the person that answered the phone hanging up he told the child that called where Santa was, “and then he had his operators’ find the location of Santa Claus and report it to every child who continued to phone in that night,” says Capt. Castro.
Today, you can track Santa on NORAD’s website. They are even on Twitter and have an app you can download for your smartphone. If you don’t have access to any of those you can still do it the old fashioned way by calling 1-877-HI-NORAD and find out if Santa is close to you.
Listen to Larry Richert and John Shumway every weekday from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.