NORAD Tracks Santa 2023 to Include USMMA Regimental Band
KINGS POINT, N.Y., December 12, 2023 -The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is “celebrating the 68th Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey around the globe!” The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes holiday activities, games, and music by various contributors including the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Regimental Band performing “Happy Birthday”, the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and the “Big Apple March.”
NORAD’s tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955 after a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put children through to Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor. The director of operations at the time, Col. Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.
In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a binational air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa. Since that time, NORAD employees, family and friends have volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world.
Starting at 4 a.m. EST on December 24, visitors to NORAD’s Santa Tracker website can see updates as Santa makes preparations for his flight. For more information on how to track Santa, go to Official NORAD Tracks Santa (noradsanta.org)
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.