Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1866: First Encoded American Diplomatic Telegram

Monday, November 23, 2020
1866: First Encoded American Diplomatic Telegram

23 November 1866: The first encoded American diplomatic telegram, sent by Secretary of State William Seward.

Excerpt below is from Ralph E. Weber's "Seward's Other Folly: America's First Encrypted Cable" (PDF available on the NSA.gov site - see link at end of page.)

Seward's original plain-text message of 780 words, when encoded, grew to 1,237 number groups, with an additional 88 code symbols spelled out. There were also more than 35 transmission errors and it took more than six hours to transmit. And the cable was quite expensive.... although the bill for September and October of that year had been just under $80 each month, the bill for just the 23 November encoded message was $19,540.50. The total bill for November was just under $25,000 (equal to the salary of the President and three times the Seward's salary!) The Secretary of State was unwilling and unable to pay the charges.

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On This Day In History


  • Robert Lamphere, FBI, began collaboration with cryptanalyst Meredith Gardner on VENONA-related material.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.