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♥- George- P.P.Pie- *SHM*

Purred: Tue Dec 24, '13 2:45pm PST 
Merry posted this story in her game and Bailey posted the story at PDPC so I want to share with our Doghouse family a very touching and TRUE story!!

This information I found out at Lil Doghouse, playing Merry's WOF-ARDY game! I think this is one of the best Christmas stories and it is true!

The program began on December 24, 1955, when a Sears department store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper which told children that they could telephone Santa Claus and included a number for them to call. However, the telephone number printed was incorrect and calls instead came through to Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Colonel Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children who called in a "current location" for Santa Claus. A tradition began which continued when the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) replaced CONAD in 1958.

On December 24, 1955, the red telephone at the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado began ringing.

The red phone meant it was either the Pentagon or CONAD commander in chief General Earle Partridge on the other end, and their reason for calling would probably not be pleasant.

U.S. Air Force Col. Harry Shoup, director of operations at the center, rushed over to the phone and grabbed it.

“Yes, Sir, this is Colonel Shoup,” he barked.

Nothing but silence in response.

“Sir? This is Colonel Shoup,” he said.

Silence again.

“Sir? Can you read me alright?”

Finally, a soft voice on the other end.

“Are you really Santa Claus?” a little girl asked.

Shoup was stunned for a second. This must be a joke, he thought. He looked around the room, expecting to see his men laughing at their prank, but found stony, serious faces all around.

He realized that there was “some screwup on the phones,” and decided to play along.

“Yes, I am,” he answered. “Have you been a good little girl?"

The girl explained to Shoup that she would leave some food out for both Santa and his reindeer and then recited her Christmas list to him. Shoup thanked her for her hospitality, noting that Santa had a lot of traveling to do. How did he get to all those houses in one night, anyway, she asked.

Apparently, that was classified intelligence in Shoup’s mind. “That’s the magic of Christmas,” he said. If anyone asks her about that, he said, she should tell them to stop asking so many questions or Santa would put them on the naughty list.

“That red phone, boy,” Shoup later recalled. “That’s either the old man—the four star [General Partridge]—or the Pentagon. I was all shook up.”

The red phone would keep ringing throughout the night. Not because of Soviet nukes or fighter planes heading toward U.S. soil, but because of a typo.

That day, Shoup would later learn, a local newspaper ran a Sears Roebuck ad inviting kids to contact Santa.

“Hey Kiddies!” the ad read. “Call me on my private phone and I will talk to you personally any time day or night.” The ad listed Santa’s direct line, but the number in the copy was off by a digit. Instead of connecting to the special line Sears set up with a Santa impersonator, kids wound up calling a secret air defense emergency number.

After a few more Santa-related calls, Shoup pulled a few airmen aside and gave them a special assignment. They would answer the phone and give callers—barring the Pentagon, we assume—Santa’s current location as they “tracked” him on their radar.

From that night on, tracking Santa became a yearly tradition, carried on by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) when it replaced CONAD in 1958. A new phone number, separate from the red phone, was established and publicized, and people were invited to call in and find out how close Santa was to their home. Every Christmas Eve, military service members staff phones and email accounts and the Santa Tracker Twitter account to keep kids up to date on Santa’s whereabouts.

Harry Shoup passed away in 2009, remembered by his peers and the public as the “Santa Colonel” who gave a special gift to millions of kids.

NORAD Tracks Santa

Edited by author Tue Dec 24, '13 2:47pm PST

MerryBelle- Noelle Pie- SSW

Purred: Mon Jan 20, '14 7:48pm PST 
Within this thread lies almost 6 years worth of fun, friends, family, laughter, silliness, parties, and so much more! Dogster has been my life since the day mom brought me home as an 8 week old baby! I will miss this group most of all. hughughug

I will never regret a single moment! I found Georgie my true love and we will always be Mr. and Mrs. Pie!!!! kissingdancingkissingdancingkissing

So many memories

♥- George- P.P.Pie- *SHM*

Purred: Mon Jan 20, '14 11:27pm PST 
Man how hard cry Mom barely can come here thinking of everything that will be lost. Omd she's crying now! crycrycrycry

I'm so glad I found you Merry, my greatest gift of all.hughughugkissing

Teddy, CGC

Little- Teddy- Weddy
Purred: Tue Jan 21, '14 4:34pm PST 
cry *Gives a big hug to Georgie & Merry*
I'm so glad I met you furs as pals, BLDH has been such a fun group with amazing memories, we need to make the most of the time we still have. big hugbig hugbig hug

MerryBelle- Noelle Pie- SSW

Purred: Tue Jan 21, '14 7:27pm PST 
kissingkissingI am glad I found you too Georgie! hughug

My mom still cannot believe it... cry

Teddy thank you! We have sure made some incredible pals here including you!big hug We will never forget!

Teddy, CGC

Little- Teddy- Weddy
Purred: Fri Jan 24, '14 10:40am PST 
hughughughughug thank you Merry!

I know I think Mummy is still not quite believing it either, It's so sad frown

MerryBelle- Noelle Pie- SSW

Purred: Mon Apr 7, '14 5:55pm PST 
waveAs we all know by now the Community area of Dogster will not be shutting down. But we do not know any more than that. shrug

MerryBelle- Noelle Pie- SSW

Purred: Mon Jul 11, '16 6:28pm PST 
2 years have passed since Dogster almost shut down. It has struggled along till now. They announced the other day end is finally here. Tomorrow is supposedly the day it will be gone. Even though the site is closing many memories remain along with many friends. Good bye Dogster, you live on in our hearts cloud 9

Thanks for letting me have a voice especially in this wonderful group, my Dogster home...hug

Thanks Georgie kissing

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