"On This Date in History" Calendar
1952: NSA Established. LTG Ralph Canine, Director.
NSA was established on November 4, 1952, by order of President Harry Truman. This decision followed the Nation's important work in breaking German and Japanese codes during WWII, which contributed to Allied success against the German U-Boat threat in the North Atlantic and victory at the Battle of Midway in the Pacific, and other contributions. President Truman's decision to establish NSA followed several studies on how best to continue this codebreaking work in the post-war era.
LTG Ralph J. Canine, USA, became first DIRNSA. Lieutenant General Ralph J. Canine, NSA's first director, is known today as the Great Unifier - the man who, almost single-handedly, forced cryptologic unification on the Services. His term at NSA, from 1952 to 1956, became the crucible for cryptologic centralization. He departed the Army and NSA a figure of mythic stature. Had Canine not been the director, NSA might not have survived the end of the decade. Learn about his accomplishments in his Cryptologic Hall of Honor entry via the link below. Read the transcript of an oral history interview of Ralph J. Canine via the link below.