December 16, 2013
NORAD Tracks Santa’s Path on Christmas Eve Because of a Typo

It was 1955, and Christmas was approaching, and Sears had a new idea for a yuletide gimmick. In local newspapers, the department store placed ads … on behalf of Santa himself.
"HEY KIDDIES!" the ad read, in a greeting that would seem creepy only in retrospect. "Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night."
The ads then listed local numbers for area children to call to get some one-on-one Kris Kringle time. Which must have seemed, if you were a kid back then, pretty amazing. A direct line to St. Nick! Kids could, finally, bypass the middlemen that stood between between them and their gifts—the U.S. Postal Service, their parents—and go directly to the source. And, even more directly, to that source’s enormous bag of gifts. You can almost hear the Ralphie Parker voice-over.

Like many innovations, though, Sears’s frictionless Santa scheme found itself with an unforeseen problem. In the ad the company had placed in the local paper in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sears had listed Santa’s number as ME 2-6681. Which, it turned out, contained a typo: It was one digit off of the intended one. The number Sears had ended up printing and distributing to the city’s citizens? The one for, as it happened, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD)—the predecessor of NORAD—which, like Santa, specialized in aeronautics. And which, unlike Santa, was based in Colorado Springs.
Read more.

NORAD Tracks Santa’s Path on Christmas Eve Because of a Typo

It was 1955, and Christmas was approaching, and Sears had a new idea for a yuletide gimmick. In local newspapers, the department store placed ads … on behalf of Santa himself.

"HEY KIDDIES!" the ad read, in a greeting that would seem creepy only in retrospect. "Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night."

The ads then listed local numbers for area children to call to get some one-on-one Kris Kringle time. Which must have seemed, if you were a kid back then, pretty amazing. A direct line to St. Nick! Kids could, finally, bypass the middlemen that stood between between them and their gifts—the U.S. Postal Service, their parents—and go directly to the source. And, even more directly, to that source’s enormous bag of gifts. You can almost hear the Ralphie Parker voice-over.

Like many innovations, though, Sears’s frictionless Santa scheme found itself with an unforeseen problem. In the ad the company had placed in the local paper in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sears had listed Santa’s number as ME 2-6681. Which, it turned out, contained a typo: It was one digit off of the intended one. The number Sears had ended up printing and distributing to the city’s citizens? The one for, as it happened, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD)—the predecessor of NORAD—which, like Santa, specialized in aeronautics. And which, unlike Santa, was based in Colorado Springs.

Read more.

  1. zombie-deer reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. aelockhart reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. asiancanuck reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. joelbarbercomedy reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. poisonburden reblogged this from kinked-bread
  6. nodoorsout reblogged this from gracefully-posting
  7. gracefully-posting reblogged this from abideastriferous
  8. kinked-bread reblogged this from thetardisismyhome
  9. abideastriferous reblogged this from thetardisismyhome
  10. saveoriginalthinking reblogged this from thetardisismyhome
  11. thetardisismyhome reblogged this from notanothertimelady
  12. andrewsullivan reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. trevorloy reblogged this from theatlantic
  14. thesugarcookieday reblogged this from artofobservation
  15. artofobservation reblogged this from stellarreqs-roulette
  16. stellarreqs-roulette reblogged this from redkora
  17. redkora reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. luckyclive reblogged this from theatlantic
  19. rainygardens reblogged this from katudaisoku
  20. rangeele reblogged this from theatlantic
  21. myintimatefriend reblogged this from theatlantic
  22. violaneve reblogged this from theatlantic
  23. seeherwheniwake reblogged this from theatlantic
  24. mudiooch reblogged this from theatlantic
  25. ladykrampus reblogged this from theatlantic
  26. notanothertimelady reblogged this from theatlantic
  27. casapazzo reblogged this from theatlantic
  28. luckiestslevin reblogged this from theatlantic
  29. startofanepilogue reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Specialized in aeronautics lol
  30. moardepravity reblogged this from theatlantic
  31. thetroubleiveshot reblogged this from everythingsbetterwithbisexuals
  32. theonewhobroughtgoggles reblogged this from everythingsbetterwithbisexuals
  33. everythingsbetterwithbisexuals reblogged this from theatlantic