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Press Release | Nov. 5, 2012

NSA Celebrates 60 Years of Defending the Nation

Established on Nov. 4, 1952, the National Security Agency celebrates this week 60 years of service to the nation.

Among the highlights of a special Nov. 7 observation: NSA will release an anniversary publication, 60 Years of Defending Our Nation, on The well-illustrated and insightful volume describes NSA's achievements in areas such as signals intelligence, information assurance, innovative research, and contributions in support of U.S. military and foreign policy goals.

A public ceremony will be held on the same day at the agency's National Cryptologic Museum, where officials will present a new 60th Anniversary Exhibit and host two World War II cryptographers who worked on the SIGABA cipher machine, the only such device that remained completely unbroken by an enemy during the war.

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.

The country needed a National Security Agency at that time. Sixty years later, it still does.

More information about NSA and its history is available online at