NORAD Santa trackers having record holiday

December 24, 2011 - 12:32 PM
NORAD Tracks Santa

FILE - In this Dec. 24, 2010 file image provided by noradsanta.org, the official NORAD tracking of Santa Claus is shown on a satellite map of the world. NORAD Tracks Santa, the official name of the exercise, began in 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited kids to talk to Santa on a hotline. The phone number had a typo, and dozens of kids wound up dialing the Continental Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, the predecessor to NORAD. Volunteer Santa-trackers at NORAD are bracing for tens of thousands of calls and emails on Christmas Eve this year. (AP Photo/NORAD, via noradsanta.org)

DENVER (AP) — Santa's piling up more than presents this year. The big man's trackers at NORAD say Santa Claus is breaking records on social media and by old-fashioned telephone this Christmas Eve.

Volunteers NORAD Tracks Santa at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado were fielding 4,000 calls an hour Saturday morning, on pace to break a record. Santa's NORAD Facebook page exceeded 840,000 "likes" by midmorning.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been telling children about Santa's whereabouts every year since 1955, when a newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa on a hotline. A typo led dozens of kids to call the command.

The officers on duty played along and began sharing reports on Santa's progress. It's now a deep-rooted tradition at NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canada command.

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Online: http://www.noradsanta.org