NSA 60th Anniversary


Established on Nov. 4, 1952, in 2012 the National Security Agency celebrated 60 years of service to the nation.

In issuing the directive that gave birth to the agency, then-President Harry Truman understood the need to continue U.S. efforts that had led to breaking German and Japanese codes in World War II, success against the German U-Boat threat in the North Atlantic, and victory in the Battle of Midway in the Pacific. America had become a dominant power on a global stage, facing global responsibilities and threats. As war raged in Korea, the creation of NSA allowed the Defense Department to consolidate cryptologic support to military operations, and to meet challenges that the nation would face in the Cold War.

Learn more about the Agency's storied history of service to the nation in our 60th Anniversary publication and accompanying interactive timeline: NSA's 60 Years of Defending Our Nation.

NSA 60th Anniversary Book

You can read the NSA 60th Anniversary Book in the following format:


The below interactive NSA Timeline is from 1952 to 2012 and highlights major events in NSA's 60 years of defending the nation. Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s. Included are 250 declassified documents, 196 of which are being released for the first time, and over 150 photographs and audio files. Example of what this timeline covers: NSA's first Director, the move to Fort Meade, Congressional hearings, the Suez Crisis, NSA's purchase of its first supercomputer, spies and defections, a ship capture, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Gulf of Tonkin, Soviet challenges, Project GUNMAN and bugs in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, support to Desert Storm, information technology revolution age, expeditionary SIGINT, and COMSEC developments. It then leads into the 1990s and 2000s and covers Afghanistan and Iraq and cyber security. The sources of this unique, historical collection are from the National Security Agency archives as well as all the Presidential Libraries. NSA/CSS 60th Anniversary Timeline

ImageTitle
 19530807_1950_DOC_3978551_ACADEMIC.PDFAcademic Training Opportunities in NSA - 7 August 1953
 19680126_DOC_3981388_ADDITIONAL.PDFAdditional SIGINT Reflections - 26 January 1968
 19500301_PRENSA_DOC_3985802_AFSACON.PDFAFSA Conference with ASA - 1 March 1950
 19500324_PRENSA_DOC_3985846_AFSA.PDFAFSA Headquarters Organization and External Relationships - 24 March 1950
 19511214_PRENSA_DOC_3061910_AFSAMANUAL.PDFAFSA Manual Organization and Functions - 14 December 1951
 19520923_PRENSA_DOC_3978476_AFSABULLETIN6-52.PDFAFSA Special Bulletin: New Site for Armed Forces Security Agency - 23 September 1952
 19510323_PRENSA_DOC_3978472_AFSANAVYAGREEMENT.PDFAFSA-Navy Agreement Regarding Direction and Support of COMINT Operation Activities - 23 March 1951
 19500922_PRENSA_DOC_3978177_AFSAAIRFORCE.PDFAFSA-U.S. Air Force Agreement on Task Assignments to AFSS Mobile Intercept Facilities - 22 September 1950
 19430610_PRENSA_DOC_3678774_AGREEMENT.PDFAgreement Between British Government Code and Cipher School and U.S. War Department - 10 June 1943
 19441023_PRENSA_DOC_3678776_AGREEMENT.PDFAgreement Between GC & CS and NEGAT on Japanese Cryptanalytic Tasks - 23 October 1944
 19550601_1950_DOC_3978581_ALLEVIATION.PDFAlleviations of Overcrowding at Fort Meade - 1 June 1955
 19950000_1990_DOC_3188691_AMERICAN.PDFAmerican Cryptology During Cold War 1945-1989, Book I: The Struggle for Centralization 1945-1960 - 1995
 19440626_PRENSA_DOC_3978107_ANNUALREPORT.PDFAnnual Report of the Director of Communications Research - 26 June 1944
 19440601_PRENSA_DOC_3978412_COMMUNICATION.PDFArmy Air Force Communication Intelligence Activities - 1 June 1944
 19440608_PRENSA_DOC_3978328_RADIOINTELLIGENCE.PDFArmy Air Force Communication Intelligence Activities: Radio Intelligence - 8 June 1944
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts

Pre-NSA

1960s

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1990s

2000s