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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19420709_PRENSA_DOC_3978327_CRYPTANALYTICCOOP.PDFMemorandum on the Cryptanalytic Cooperation of British and American Armies - 9 July 1942
 19690513_1960_DOC_3986671_MEMO.PDFMemorandum Regarding Centralization of Processing and Reporting - 13 May 1969
 19450821_PRENSA_DOC_3984126_MEMORE.PDFMemorandum Regarding Continuation and Development of COMINT - 21 August 1945
 19400725_PRENSA_DOC_3984084_COORDINATIONOF.PDFMemorandum Regarding Coordination of Intercept and Decrypting Activities of the Army and Navy - 25 July 1940
 19540514_1950_DOC_3978561_MEMO.PDFMemorandum Regarding Move to Fort Meade - 14 May 1954
 19451014_PRENSA_DOC_3984062_NAVYINTEREST.PDFMemorandum Regarding Navy's Interest in Processing of Intercepted foreign, Non-Military Communications - 14 October 1945
 19680826_DOC_3985817_MEMO.PDFMemorandum Regarding NSC Communications Security Device - 26 August 1968
 19590328_1950_DOC_3978854_MEMO.PDFMemorandum Regarding OSD Responsibility for NSA - 28 March 1959
 19451228_PRENSA_DOC_3983896_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum Regarding SIGINT - 28 December 1945
 19460115_PRENSA_DOC_3983898_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum Regarding Signals Intelligence - 15 January 1946
 19460116_PRENSA_DOC_3983900_MEMORANDUM.PDFMemorandum Regarding Signals Intelligence - 16 January 1946
 19500715_PRENSA_DOC_3978181_MEMOESTAFSA.PDFMemorandum to Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Establishment of AFSA - 15 July 1949
 19920408_1990_DOC_3959496_STUDEMAN.PDFMemorandum, Director Studeman's Farewell to Employees - 08 April 1992
 19831109_1980_DOC_3984607_COMPUTER.PDFMemorandum: Computer Security Within NSA - 09 November 1983
 19801007_1980_DOC_3978871_PUBLIC.PDFMemorandum: National Policy on Public Cryptology - 07 October 1980
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts