For the fourth consecutive year, First Lady Michelle Obama took time from her holiday schedule to deliver cheer to children across America.
She is personally answering phone calls on Santa’s journey as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Answering the telephone with, “Hello, this is First Lady Michelle Obama with NORAD Tracks Santa. How may I help you?” Mrs. Obama fielded calls from Hawaii to surprised children calling in to the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center.
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Mrs. Obama answered children’s questions about Santa’s exact location using NORAD’s global Santa Tracker and let the children know when to expect Santa to visit their homes.
She assured them all that NORAD was tracking Santa’s progress closely, and his journey was going well.
The NORAD Tracks Santa program began in 1955 after a phone call was made to the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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The call was from a local youngster who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper advertisement. The commander on duty who answered the phone that night gave the child the information requested – the whereabouts of Santa.
This began the tradition of tracking Santa, a tradition that was carried on by NORAD when it was formed in 1958.
The NORAD Tracks Santa program was first presented on the Internet in 1997. The website receives visitors from different countries.
In addition, a live Operations Center is occupied for 23 hours with more than 1,200 volunteers each year who receive phone calls and emails from families around the world.
In the picture above: First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama answered the phone calls from Kailua, Hawaii, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)