He's made his list and checked it twice. Now it's time to find out who's been naughty and who's been nice. The NORAD Santa Tracker 2012 is coming to town.
[For the OFFICIAL livestream of the NORAD Santa Tracker 2012 click here.]
The NORAD Santa Tracker has been a holiday tradition since 1955, when it began as a misprint in a newspaper ad. Sears department stores ran an ad with a phone number that kids to call to find out the official location of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. A misprint had children calling Colorado Springs' Contiental Air Defense Command. Not just any number, either. The number was actually the top secret phone number for the scary, red emergency phone that was only to be used in the event of a major Soviet attack. So, one can imagine the surprise Colonel Harry Shoup had on Christmas Eve in 1955 when he picked up the doomsday phone expecting to hear instructions from a four-star general and instead found himself talking to a six-year old.
"Are you really Santa Claus?" the boy asked Shoup. Shoup thought the call was a prank and asked the boy to repeat the question. The boy then asked "Is this one of Santa's elves then?"
Soon the phone began ringing off the hook with concerned kids from all corners of the country, and Colonel Shoup (after no doubt figuring out what the heck was happening) instructed his men to play along and give the kids updates and the NORAD Santa Tracker was born. After his death in 2009, the NORAD Santa Tracker team released this video interview of Col. Shoup talking about his experience on that fateful night.
The NORAD Santa Tracker for 2012 is facing some stiff competition from Google this year. The SEO titan launched its own Santa tracker in 2004 through Google Earth. Anyone interested in using Google's Santa tracker instead of the Norad Santa Tracker for 2012 can find it here.