Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:47 am
The North American Aerospace Defense Command Center (NORAD) has had the responsibility of tracking Santa Claus during his Christmas Eve journey for more than 50 years. This year, as part of a holiday tradition, Santa is expected to make a special surprise visit in Milwaukee during his annual journey.
According to a Google spokesperson, every holiday season, Santa makes stops in select U.S. cities and this year, Milwaukee is on his potential list. Google has partnered with NORAD since 1998, when the Center decided to integrate its Santa tracking with Google maps and Google Earth so families could follow along at home on the internet.
The tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955 when the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor, started receiving calls from children looking for Santa. According to NORAD’s website, Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co ran an ad in a newspaper telling children to call Santa, but printed the telephone number incorrectly.
Colonel Harry Shoup, director of operations at the time for the Continental Air Defense Command, took the first call and instead of hanging up started checking the radar for indications Santa had left the North Pole. Now, more than 50 years later, NORAD is still tracking Santa on his Christmas Eve journey.
The exact time and location of Santa’s visit is not yet known, but families are encouraged to start tracking Santa’s holiday journey in real-time starting at 1 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24 by visiting www.noradsanta.org, Google Earth or on your mobile phone using Google Maps mobile. The time and location will be revealed on Saturday, Dec. 24. To see highlights of Santa’s journey in 2010, click here.