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NORAD Santa trackers having record holiday
by kristen Wyatt, Associated Press
Dec 25, 2011 | 859 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

DENVER (AP) — Santa’s piling up more than presents this year. The big man’s trackers at NORAD say Santa Claus also broke records this Christmas Eve.

Volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado had fielded more than 80,000 calls Saturday evening, breaking the previous record. Also, Santa’s NORAD Facebook page approached 980,000 “likes.” Last year, Santa had 716,000 “likes.”

Volunteers at NORAD Tracks Santa said kids started calling at 4 a.m. Saturday to find out where Santa was.

“The phones are ringing like crazy,” Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis said Saturday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has been telling anxious children about Santa’s whereabouts every year since 1955. That was the year a Colorado Springs newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa on a hotline, but the number had a typo, and dozens of kids wound up talking to the Continental Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor.

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 that monitors the North American skies and seas from a control center at Peterson.

First lady Michelle Obama was among the volunteers for a second year in a row. Lewis said Obama’s voice didn’t throw any of the phoning children.
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