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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19490111_PRENSA_DOC_3985177_CHANGE.PDFChange in Title of AFCIAC - 11 January 1949
 19491011_PRENSA_DOC_3985177_CHANGEIN.PDFChange in Title of AFCIAC - 11 October 1949
 19550624_1950_DOC_3987308_CHRONOLOGY.PDFChronology of NSA Move to Fort Meade - 24 June 1955
 19950620_1990_DOC_CLINTONLIBRARY.PDFClinton Library: Letter National Security Medal for Admiral Studeman - 20 June 1995
 19990317_1990_DOC_CLINTONLIBRARY.PDFClinton Library: Letter National Security Medal for Lieutenant General Minihan - 17 March 1999
 19960301_1990_DOC_CLINTONLIBRARY.PDFClinton Library: Letter to VADM McConnell on Departure from NSA- 01 March 1996
 19770913_1970_DOC_3993948_COMMENTS.PDFComments on Intelligence Activities and Individual Rights Act of 1977 - 13 September 1977
 19521024_1950_DOC_3978766_COMMS.PDFCommunications Intelligence Activities - 24 October 1952
 19950724_1990_DOC_3987547_COMMUNICATOR.PDFCommunicator, Vol. III, No30 - 24 July 1995
 19521024_1950_DOC_3978804_NOTE.PDFCOMSEC Matters - 24 October 1952
 19521024_1950_DOC_3986607_COMSEC.PDFCOMSEC Matters - 24 October 1952
 19560120_1950_DOC_4001428_COMSEC.PDFCOMSEC Procurement of a General Purpose Computer - 20 January 1956
 19490719_PRENSA_DOC_3978112_CONSIDERDRAFT.PDFConsider Draft JCS Directive to Director AFSA - 19 July 1949
 19491227_PRENSA_DOC_3978104_CONSOLIDATION.PDFConsolidation of Cryptologic Activities of the Armed Forces - 27 December 1949
 19491018_PRENSA_DOC_3978118_COORDINATION.PDFCoordination Between JC-E Committee and the AFSA - 18 October 1949
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts