Trivia

Hard

What Caused The U.S. Military To Start Tracking Santa Claus?

National Security Concerns
A Whiny General's Daughter
A Sears Advertisement
A Cold War Scare
A 1950s-era Sears ad urging kids to call Santa.
Sears

Answer: A Sears Advertisement

NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) is a joint operation between the U.S. and Canadian governments designed to monitor and protect the sovereign airspace of the two nations. The precursor of NORAD was CONAD (the Continental Air Defense Command)—both located near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In December of 1955, a local Sears store ran an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper with a telephone hotline that purported to be a direct line to Santa Claus. The only problem was a huge typo in the Sears ad caused the phone calls to be routed to the CONAD switchboard instead of the Sears store staff. Colonel Harry Shoup, the commanding officer at the time, instructed his staff to answer the calls from hopeful children, then on Christmas Eve, he called the local radio station to say, “This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh.” For the rest of the evening, radio stations called every hour for updates on Santa’s current location as he completed his wild around-the-world toy delivery run.

When CONAD converted to NORAD, the tradition was passed on. Every year since then, NORAD has faithfully answered phone calls and emails from all over the world updating curious children on the location and status of Santa Claus. What started off as a handful of soldiers answering the calls of Colorado Springs children has grown to include a large crew of volunteers that handle roughly 12,000 emails and 100,000 phone calls from children the world over each year.

The operation even has a website with a virtual radar system and social media presence. If it’s Christmas Eve and you absolutely need to know where Santa is, you can count on NORAD to assure you he’s out, about, and delivering toys to all the good girls and boys.

Trivia

Easy

What Was Sally Ride Referencing When She Called The Shuttle Launch An “E Ticket” Ride?

Trivia

Easy

The First Movie Exhibition Spaces Were Called?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Canyon In Our Solar System Is On?

Trivia

Hard

Which Country Has The Longest National Anthem?

Trivia

Hard

Which Planet Did Carl Sagan Want To Terraform First?

Trivia

Hard

The Coldest Known Star Is Only As Warm As What?

Trivia

Very Hard

The “Woodpecker” Was A Cold War Era Tool Used To Detect?

Trivia

Hard

Parasitoid Wasps Prey Primarily On?

Trivia

Hard

Which Movie Franchise Has Both A Highest And Lowest Ranked Film On Rotten Tomatoes?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Plant Fraxinella Is Most Notable For Its?