Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Of Santa and NORAD~~~~

Well Darklings,

Soon some of the family will be over, my cousin and her friend, of course Sis and her room mate Brian.

We are going to have a simple dinner in about an hour, then to watch Mae West in "Everyday is a Holiday", then relax a bit with Peach Pie then to go to Midnight Mass.

The dogs are all nice and warm in their Christmas Sweaters and it is getting very chilly tonight.

Earlier today Coralline called me and although she knows Santa is really the Spirit of giving and caring, his legend based upon an old Bishop and Clement Moore's Poem "The Night Before Christmas".

But she asked me an interesting question, how come NORAD {U.S.-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)} tracks Santa's progress all over the world.

My sister provided me with the answer because she had to deal with this same question with her grandchildren a few years ago.

Back in the early to mid-1950's NORAD's predecessor  was  the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD).

CONAD's main office was based in Colorado, and back then the local branch of the Department Store Sears and Roebuck was running an ad that said Call Santa any time day or night and Santa will talk to you. 

Now you have to remember back in the 1950's our telephone numbers were a combination of name exchanges and numbers such as KEllogg 2-5554  The Exchange being Kellogg or Neptune or Cherry Hill or something like that and followed by numbers, there was no thing as area codes back then.  And everything was run through a human operator.

Well it seems that the ad had mis-printed the phone number and instead with one digit difference put hundreds upon hundreds of children in touch with this defense agency.

Fortunately the commander at that time at first upset but then understanding, assigned  airmen to answer the phone as Santa Claus around the clock.

After that first encounter CONAD (later NORAD in 1958) decided to set aside a specific phone number every Christmas Season and advertise it as a direct link to Santa's North Pole State so various military volunteer elves could tell little children where Santa was on his travels.  

And from that happy accident a tradition was born.

So if any one with little children are reading this just google NORAD Santa Tracker and you will find out where Santa has been and is going.  

And I hope in a few hours all the children will be snug in their "wee little beds with visions of Sugar Plums dancing in their wee little heads".

Merry Christmas Darklings and to all A good Night!