In the 1950s, two phones sat on the desk of Air Force Col. Harry Shoup at Continental Air Defense Command operations center in Colorado: a black one for local calls, and a red one with a number that was top secret.
If the red one rang, his daughter says, "it wasn't good news."
That changed one December day in 1955, when Shoup answered the red phone and heard a child's voice, with a question.
"Is this Santa Claus?"
So began the program now known as NORAD Tracks Santa, which follows Saint Nick on his Christmas Eve journey around the world and broadcasts the details to children everywhere. The program celebrates its 60th anniversary this year,...