On 1 November 2002 at 2:00 p.m., Lt Gen Michael V. Hayden, USAF, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service will cut the ribbon to unveil a new exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum highlighting the Agency's half-century of providing and protecting America's most critical information. The ribbon-cutting is the one public event in a week-long series of events being held to commemorate NSA's rich legacy of cryptologic success in protecting American freedom and liberty.
NSA is the nation's cryptologic organization - America's codemakers and codebreakers. Its mission today is two-fold: to provide foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) and to protect critical U.S. information systems (Information Assurance). The ability to understand the secret communications of our foreign adversaries while protecting our own communications - a capability in which the United States leads the world - gives our nation a unique advantage.
The Agency was created on 24 October 1952 when President Harry S. Truman signed a top secret presidential memorandum that brought into existence a truly unified cryptologic organization for America. 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.
In addition to the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, the County Executive of Anne Arundel County, Ms. Janet Owens, will issue a formal proclamation honoring the Agency's rich legacy of success and the positive partnership that has existed between the County and NSA since the Agency's inception.
Note to members of the media: Please notify the NSA Public and Media Affairs Office at the number above by 31 October 2002 if you plan to attend the ribbon-cutting.
The National Cryptologic Museum provides a "peek behind the curtain" at the once-secret world of cryptology - the exploitation of enemy 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.