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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19760720_1970_DOC_3985892_MEMO.PDFMemo of Understanding with Respect to Special Warnings to Mariners - 20 July 1976
 19401004_PRENSA_DOC_3978320_INFORMATIONEX.PDFMemo on Exchange of Japanese, Italian, and German Cryptographic Information Between U.S. & Great Britain - 4 October 1940
 19731024_1970_DOC_3985824_MEMO.PDFMemo Regarding Concept of SIGINT Support to Military Commanders - 24 October 1973
 19790629_1970_DOC_3985862_MEMO.PDFMemo Regarding National Communications Security Directive - 29 June 1979
 19781103_1970_DOC_3979000_FOREIGN.PDFMemo: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - 03 November 1978
 19770404_1970_DOC_3742112_FOREIGN.PDFMemo: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - 04 April 1977
 19740418_1970_DOC_3979001_ROLE.PDFMemo: Role of Deputy Chief CSS - 18 April 1974
 19490901_PRENSA_DOC_3978099_MEMOFOR.PDFMemorandum Establishing the Armed Forces Security Agency - 1 September 1949
 19540824_1950_DOC_3978568_MEMO.PDFMemorandum Firm Moving Date Set for Interim Move - 24 August 1954
 19451010_PRENSA_DOC_3983911_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum for Admiral King Regarding Signal Intelligence - 10 October 1945
 19451002_PRENSA_DOC_3983910_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum for Admiral King Regarding Signal Intelligence - 2 October 1945
 19450925_PRENSA_DOC_3983918_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum for Admiral King Regarding Signal Intelligence - 25 September 1945
 19450818_PRENSA_DOC_3978305_SIGNALINTELLIGENCE.PDFMemorandum for Admiral King: Signal Intelligence - 18 August 1945
 19451229_PRENSA_DOC_3978307_JOINTINTELLIGENCE.PDFMemorandum for Admiral Nimitz: Joint Intelligence Activities - 29 December 1945
 19711223_1970_DOC_3985830_MEMO.PDFMemorandum for Director NSA Regarding S-5100.20 - 23 December 1971
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts