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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19570517_DOC_ACC23146_ESTIMATED.PDFEstimated Cost of HARVEST System - 17 May 1957
 19780124_1970_DOC_3984611_EO12036.PDFExecutive Order 12036 - 24 January 1978
 19450828_PRENSA_DOC_3983917_EXTRACTS.PDFExtracts from 19th ANCICC - 28 August 1945
 19551007_1950_DOC_3978862_FACTS.PDFFacts Bearing on the Use of Buildings Located within Three Miles of NSA - 7 October 1955
 19811204_1980_DOC_3984075_ EO12333.PDFFederal Register: Executive Order 12333 - 04 December 1981
 19740815_1970_DOC_FORDLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFFord Library Memoranda Regarding Improved Security Telecommunications - 15 August 1974 through 18 January 1977
 19751029_1970_DOC_FORDLIBRARY_GEN.PDFFord Library: Lieutenant General Lew Allen Testimony - 29 October 1975
 19760405_1970_DOC_FORDLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFFord Library: Memo Regarding Soviet Microwave Intercept Program - 05 April 1976
 19751000_1970_DOC_FORDLIBRARY_SHAMROCK.PDFFord Library: Shamrock Allen Abzug Correspondence - October 1975
 19570619_1950_DOC_3986834_FTMEADE.PDFFort Meade Big New Hush Hush Building Nearing Completion - 19 June 1957
 19521209_1950_DOC_3985059_FURTHER.PDFFurther Implementation of NSCID No. 9 Revised - 9 December 1952
 19460301_PRENSA_DOC_3984824_GENERAL.PDFGeneral Principles Governing the Joint Liaison Group - 1 March 1946
 19570620_1950_DOC_3993944_GIANT.PDFGiant New Building at Fort Meade - 20 June 1957
 19861001_1980_DOC_NDU.PDFGoldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 - 01 October 1986
 19750514_1970_DOC_3983382_GULF.PDFGulf of Thailand Support 01 - 14 May 1975
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts