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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19790321_1970_DOC_3987145_DRAFT.PDFDraft of National Communications Security Directive - 21 March 1979
 19551031_1950_DOC_3978859_DRUGFAIR.PDFDrug Fair Interested in Leasing Store Space at NSA - 31 October 1955
 1950_DOC_EARLYNSAORGCHART.PDFEarly NSA Organization Chart from Establishment of NSA Files
 1950_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_AERIAL.PDFEisenhower Library: Aerial Reconnaissance Briefing
 19580205_1950_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_BAKER.PDFEisenhower Library: Baker Report 5 February 1958
 19601018_1960_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_DISCUSSION.PDFEisenhower Library: Discussion at the 463rd NSC Meeting - 18 October 1960
 19601215_1960_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_JOINT.PDFEisenhower Library: Excerpts from the Joint Study Group Report on Foreign Intelligence Activities - 15 December 1960F
 19561220_1950_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_LETTER.PDFEisenhower Library: Letter from Killian to Eisenhower 20 December 1956
 19580210_1950_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFEisenhower Library: Memorandum of Conference with the President - 10 February 1958
 19570118_1950_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFEisenhower Library: Memorandum Regarding Discussion at Special Meeting - 18 January 1957
 19600801_1960_DOC_EISENHOWERLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFEisenhower Library: Memorandum Regarding Missing NSA Personnel - 1 August 1960
 19460612_PRENSA_DOC_3984083_ESTABLISHMENT.PDFEstablishment of a Liaison Center in Great Britain - 12 June 1946
 19500213_PRENSA_DOC_3978468_AFSATECHCOMMITTEE.PDFEstablishment of an Armed Forces Security Agency Technical Committee - 13 February 1950
 19490520_PRENSA_DOC_3978419_ESTAFSA.PDFEstablishment of the Armed Forces Security Agency - 20 May 1949
 19450906_PRENSA_DOC_3978416_ESTASA.PDFEstablishment of the Army Security Agency - 6 September 1945
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts