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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19460104_PRENSA_DOC_3983913_COORDINATION.PDFCoordination of Army-Navy COMINT Activities - 4 January 1946
 19450119_PRENSA_DOC_3984060_CORRELATION.PDFCorrelation of Radio Intelligence Activities - 9 January 1945
 19480723_PRENSA_DOC_3984079_COSTESTIMATE.PDFCost Estimate for Discharging Certain Intelligence Functions - 23 July 1948
 19481227_PRENSA_DOC_3984132_CREATION.PDFCreation of a Unified Armed Forces Security Agency - 27 December 1948
 19690228_DOC_3075790_CRYPTOGRAPHIC.PDFCryptographic Damage Assessment - 28 February 1969
 19450703_PRENSA_DOC_3978414_CRYPTOGRAPHIC.PDFCryptographic Security with Respect to Certain Communications of the Government - 3 July 1945
 20030228_2000_DOC_3128845_NOTHING.PDFCryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series "Nothing Left to Give Up" (Part I) - 28 March 2003
 20030228_2000_DOC_3128847_NOTHING.PDFCryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series "Nothing Left to Give Up" (Part II) - 28 March 2003
 19980224_1990_DOC_3713148_SOVIET.PDFCryptologic Almanac, Soviet Union's Invasion of Afghanistan 25 December 1979 - 24 February 1998
 19780323_1970_DOC_3984513_DELEGATION.PDFDelegation of Authority Under Executive Order 12036 - 23 March 1978
 19711223_1970_DOC_3983926_DODDIR5100.PDFDepartment of Defense Directive 5100.20 - 23 December 1971
 19730125_1970_DOC_3985823_DODDIRECTIVE.PDFDepartment of Defense Directive S-3115.7 SIGINT - 25 January 1973
 19610217_1960_DOC_3978427_MEMORANDUM.PDFDevelopment of Advanced Intelligence Collection Programs - 17 February 1961
 19400731_PRENSA_DOC_3984058_DIRECTIVETOJOINT.PDFDirective to Joint Army-Navy Committee - 31 July 1940
 19490520_PRENSA_DOC_3987509_DIRECTIVEAFSA.PDFDirective: Armed Forces Security Agency - 20 May 1949
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts