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Press Release | Nov. 1, 2002

National Security Agency Commemorates 50th Anniversary by Unveiling Exhibit at National Cryptologic Museum

Today the National Security Agency (NSA) publicly commemorated its 50th anniversary when Lt Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, unveiled a new exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum. The exhibit highlights the rich and successful legacy of NSA's dedicated codemakers and codebreakers, who, for five decades, have provided and protected America's most critical information.

The exhibit --"Fifty Years of Cryptologic Excellence" -- features a video production entitled"1952-2002: A Cryptologic Legacy." The display also includes items representative of the Agency throughout its 50 years, as well as items used by LTG Ralph Canine, USA, the Agency's first director and by Dr. Louis Tordella, NSA's longest-serving Deputy Director. The images and artifacts included in the exhibit are poignant reminders of NSA's past accomplishments. Thanks to the superlative work done by those who came before us, our Nation's efforts to create a unified cryptologic organization for the United States were successfully brought to fruition.

NSA was created on 24 October 1952 when President Harry S. Truman signed a top secret, 8-page presidential memorandum. At that time, the decision was made to delay formal announcement of the action until 4 November, which happened to be Election Day. The hope was that the nation's selection of a new Chief Executive would keep the creation of the Agency out of the news.

The National Cryptologic Museum provides a"peek behind the curtain" at the once-secret world of cryptology - the exploitation of foreign signals intelligence and the protection of America's most critical communications. The Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Museum is located at the intersection of Maryland Route 32 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295), adjacent to the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Admission is free.