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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19480831_PRENSA_DOC_3984080_UNIFIEDARMED.PDFUnified Armed Forces Security Agency - 31 August 1948
 19760218_1970_DOC_3985420_UNITEDSTATES.PDFUnited States Foreign Intelligence Activities - 18 February 1976
 19710921_1970_DOC_3987512_USSID1.PDFUnited States Signal Intelligence Directive 1 - 29 September 1971
 19470311_PRENSA_DOC_3669267_USCIBCOORD.PDFUSCIB Coordinator of Joint Operation Report - 11 March 1947
 19540400_1950_DOC_3978806_USCIB.PDFUSCIB Directive 12 Conduct of Overt COMINT Liaison with Foreign Governmental Activities - April 1954
 19501013_PRENSA_DOC_3982330_USCIBDIR1.PDFUSCIB Directive No. 1 - 13 October 1950
 19481116_PRENSA_DOC_3984133_USCIB1.PDFUSCIB Directive No. 1 - 16 November 1948
 19481116_PRENSA_DOC_3985799_USCIB3.PDFUSCIB Directive No. 3 - 16 November 1948
 19460731_PRENSA_DOC_3984043_USCIB.PDFUSCIB Organization Bulletin No. 2 - 31 July 1946
 19560127_1950_DOC_3986625_USCIB.PDFUSCIB Policy on Imitative Communications Deception - 27 January 1956
 19540520_1950_DOC_3978812_USCIB.PDFUSCIB Policy on Jamming of Foreign Radio Communications - 20 May 1954
 19940613_1990_DOC_3020244_USSID1.PDFUSSID 1, SIGINT Operating Policy - 13 June 1994
 19490513_PRENSA_DOC_3984118_WARCOUNCIL.PDFWar Council Agenda for Meeting - 13 May 1949
 19671130_DOC_3604361_WEATHER.PDFWeather or Not -- Encrypted? - 30 November 1967
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts