Michelle Obama photo

Press Release - Background from a White House Official

December 24, 2013

Mrs. Obama just finished answering calls from children from across the country asking where Santa was located as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command. This is the First Lady's fourth year participating in this Christmas Eve tradition.

Mrs. Obama started the calls at around 11:00am local time, and spoke to children for about 30 minutes.

A transcript of the call will be released as soon as it's ready. In the meantime here is a photo taken by Pete Souza: http://bit.ly/1gVaGu6

Background on the NORAD Tracks Santa Program: 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. 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 youngster 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 has grown immensely since first presented on the Internet in 1998. The website receives millions of unique visitors from hundreds of countries and territories around the world. In addition, a live Operations Center is occupied for 25 hours with more than 1,200 volunteers each year who receive hundreds of thousands of phone calls and emails from families around the world.

Michelle Obama, Press Release - Background from a White House Official Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351455

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