publication date: Friday, December 25, 2020 (part of Winter 2021)

category: Military

clue: American children have been able to call Santa Claus and even track him on military radar thanks to this colonel's quick thinking to seize upon a holiday-season typo.

explanation: In 1955, Shoup had a secret hotline at what is today NORAD when a Sears ad invited children to call Santa Claus and mistakenly printed his number. He ordered his men to take the calls in character over their initial objections, and it turned into an annual tradition that has evolved into today's web-based Santa Tracker. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, Samir Mehta, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Erik Bates


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