Cryptologic Bytes

"On This Date in History" Calendar

1912: Herbert O. Yardley hired as State Department code clerk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

16 Nov 1912: Herbert O. Yardley was hired as a U.S. State Department code clerk. While working there during the night, he became interested in the construction of State Department codes, and he began to try and solve them. By his own account, he solved a 500-word message to President Wilson from Colonel Edward House (the President's confidant and adviser in Europe) in less than 2 hours and after that, became determined to become a cryptologist. Yardley went on to eventually head up the Cipher Bureau or "American Black Chamber" and wrote a book by the same name about his experiences with the organization. Learn more about Yardley in the NSA PDF - "The Many Lives of Herbert O. Yardley" - see link below.


Check out the Cryptologic Bytes Archives for a wide variety of articles on all topics related to cryptology, codes and ciphers, related publications, Museums, and more.