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 Please click on the various decades to find important historical documents, audio files, and photographs from World War II and the beginnings of NSA through the 2000s.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

 19670608_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_CABLE.PDFJohnson Library: Cable from USDAO Tel Aviv Regarding the U.S.S. Liberty - 8 June 1967
 19640802_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_JCS.PDFJohnson Library: JCS Incoming Message Regarding Gulf of Tonkin - 2 August 1964
 19640810_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_PL88-408.PDFJohnson Library: JCS Incoming Message Regarding Gulf of Tonkin - 7 August 1964
 19640802_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFJohnson Library: Memorandum for the President Regarding Attack on U.S.S Maddox - 2 August 1964
 19680127_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_MEMO.PDFJohnson Library: Memorandum for the President Regarding the Gulf of Tonkin - 27 January 1968
 19670608_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_MEMO02.PDFJohnson Library: Memorandum to the President Regarding the U.S.S. Liberty 10:15 AM - 8 June 1967
 19670608_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_MEMO01.PDFJohnson Library: Memorandum to the President Regarding the U.S.S. Liberty 9:50 AM - 8 June 1967
 19670608_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_MEMO03.PDFJohnson Library: Memorandum to the President Regarding the U.S.S. Liberty Status - 8 June 1967
 19640807_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_JCS.PDFJohnson Library: Message Regarding Gulf of Tonkin - 4 August 1964
 19680123_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_NOTES.PDFJohnson Library: Notes from the President's Tuesday National Security Lunch - 23 January 1968
 19640803_1960_DOC_JOHNSONLIBRARY_PRESS.PDFJohnson Library: Press Release Regarding Gulf of Tonkin - 3 August 1964
 19580101_1950_DOC_3987197_JOINT.PDFJoint COMINT Civilian Career Program - 1 January 1958
 19580600_1950_DOC_3978856_JOINT.PDFJoint Cryptologic Civilian Career Program - June 1958
 19550309_1950_DOC_3978569_JOINT.PDFJoint Tenancy Agreements at Fort Meade - 9 March 1955
 19750514_1970_DOC_3983390_KCDISCUSS.PDFKC Discuss Capturing and Tying Up Americans - 14 May 1975
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NSA 60th Anniversary Audio Transcripts