About CIA



11 July 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints William J. Donovan, a prominent lawyer who won the Medal of Honor during World War I, as “Coordinator of Information.”
07 December 1941 Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
04 June 1942 Battle of Midway victory due to US Navy's ability to break key Japanese naval code
13 June 1942 The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) replaces the Office of the Coordinator of Information; William J. Donovan appointed Director.
01 June 1944 Combined OSS and UK Jedburgh teams and Operational Groups stage sabotage campaign to hamper the German response to the D-Day invasion; massive Allied deceptions confuse Berlin.
06 June 1944 D-Day; Allies invade France, landing at Normandy
16 July 1945 First atomic bomb detonates at the Trinity site (NM); Soviet spies working in program keep Stalin informed
02 September 1945 World War II ends
27 September 1945 Virginia Hall, an OSS operative, accepts the Distinguished Service Cross awarded by the military for her exceptional heroism during wartime operations.
01 October 1945 OSS abolished; branches are distributed throughout the government:  Research and Analysis moves to the Department of State; Espionage and Counterintelligence become part of the War Department, where they are renamed the Strategic Services Unit (SSU).
24 October 1945 United Nations formed
22 January 1946 President Harry Truman creates the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) and the position of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI).
23 January 1946 Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers appointed to be the first DCI.
15 February 1946 The Central Reports Staff of CIG publishes the first “Daily Summary,” an analysis of current events, for the President.
05 March 1946 UK Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill delivers “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, MO
10 June 1946 Lt. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg appointed DCI.
23 July 1946 First Central Intelligence Group assessment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
12 March 1947 President Truman announces the Truman Doctrine to aid nations threatened by Communism
01 May 1947 Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter appointed DCI.
26 July 1947 National Security Act of 1947, signed by President Truman, creates the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Act also forms the National Security Council, the Office of Secretary of Defense, and the US Air Force.
18 September 1947 CIA formally comes into existence, replacing CIG.
17 December 1947 National Security Council authorizes CIA to perform covert action.
03 April 1948 President Truman signs the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Western Europe
01 June 1948 USSR blockades Berlin; resulting crises deepen worsening Cold War
01 September 1948 CIA establishes the Office of Policy Coordination under Frank G. Wisner to manage covert action.
16 December 1948 A federal grand jury indicts Alger Hiss for perjury.
04 March 1949 FBI arrests Judith Coplon; she becomes the first person prosecuted for espionage as a result of the successful “Venona” project’s detection of Soviet intelligence cable traffic.
23 September 1949 US announces that the Soviets have exploded an atomic bomb
01 October 1949 The People’s Republic of China is proclaimed in Beijing
09 February 1950 Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy brandishes his famous list of Communists allegedly working in the State Department; these charges, along with the recent perjury conviction of Alger Hiss and the confession of Klaus Fuchs, heighten official and public fears of Soviet espionage and subversion in the US.
25 June 1950 North Korea invades South Korea
07 October 1950 Lt. Gen. Walter B. Smith appointed DCI.
05 April 1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg sentenced to death for spying for Soviet Union
04 November 1952 President Truman creates the National Security Agency; Lt. Gen. Ralph Canine appointed Director.
26 February 1953 Allen W. Dulles appointed DCI.
05 March 1953 Soviet leader Joseph Stalin dies
27 July 1953 Armistice ends Korean war
12 August 1953 USSR secretly explodes its first hydrogen bomb
19 August 1953 CIA-assisted coup overthrows Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadeq.
28 June 1954 CIA coup leads to the overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz.
25 November 1954 President Eisenhower approves the development of the U-2 aircraft.
11 May 1955 Successful completion of the Berlin Tunnel (Operation GOLD), the creation of CIA officer Bill Harvey, allows tapping into Soviet cable lines in East Berlin. Because of UK intelligence officer George Blake, a Soviet spy in MI-6, the Soviets are aware of the project from its beginning.
04 August 1955 President Eisenhower authorizes $46 million for CIA Headquarters Building construction.
21 April 1956 Unknown at the time to the CIA and MI-6, the KGB—the Soviet Union’s premier intelligence agency—had been aware of the Berlin Tunnel project from its start.  George Blake, a KGB mole inside MI-6, had apprised the Soviets about the secret operation during its planning stages.  But to protect Blake, the KGB allowed the operation to continue until April 1956 when they “accidentally discovered” the tunnel while supposedly repairing faulty underground cables—without putting Blake at risk.
04 July 1956 First U-2 mission flies over the USSR.
01 October 1956 Crises and conflicts in both Hungary and the Suez
04 October 1957 Soviet Union successfully launches Sputnik I satellite
04 December 1957 CIA and the US Air Force begin developing the CORONA photoreconnaissance satellite.
17 May 1958 CIA covert-action program in Indonesia is exposed after contract pilot Allen Pope is shot down; rebellion collapses.
01 January 1959 Fidel Castro assumes power in Cuba
03 November 1959 Construction begins on CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia; President Eisenhower presides at cornerstone-laying ceremony.
01 May 1960 USSR shoots down U-2 flight over Sverdlovsk; pilot Francis Gary Powers survives crash.
22 June 1960 US Navy successfully orbits GRAB system, the first signals intelligence satellite.
18 August 1960 First successful CORONA photoreconnaissance satellite mission.
18 January 1961 National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) created under CIA direction; Arthur Lundahl appointed first Director.
17 April 1961 CIA-backed Cuban-exile force lands at Bay of Pigs, Cuba, to liberate the island from the Castro dictatorship; the liberation effort was quickly crushed.
05 May 1961 Alan Shepard becomes first American to travel in outer space
01 August 1961 Defense Intelligence Agency established under the Secretary of Defense.
13 August 1961 Soviet-led East Germany begins Berlin Wall construction
06 September 1961 CIA and US Air Force sign a charter creating the National Reconnaissance Office to manage intelligence satellites; Joseph Charyk appointed Director.
20 September 1961 New CIA Headquarters Building opens to first employees moving in from various offices in Washington, DC, area.
29 November 1961 John A. McCone appointed DCI.
30 April 1962 CIA’s A-12 supersonic reconnaissance aircraft makes first official flight.
15-28 October 1962 CIA U-2 overflights of Cuba discover Soviet nuclear missiles capable of reaching the US, precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis.
16 May 1963 Soviets execute Col. Oleg Penkovsky, a CIA asset and high-ranking member of Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU)
05 August 1963 CIA creates Directorate of Science & Technology; Albert ‘Bud’ Wheelon appointed Director.
01 November 1963 South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem regime toppled
22 November 1963 President Kennedy assassinated
07 August 1964 Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, deepening US commitment in Vietnam
28 April 1965 Vice Admiral William Raborn appointed DCI.
30 June 1966 Richard M. Helms appointed DCI.
01 June 1967 Arab-Israeli war (known as Six-Day War) ends in quick Israeli victory
23 January 1968 North Korea captures US Navy spy ship Pueblo during a signals-intelligence collection mission.
30 January 1968 Tet Offensive shocks American commanders in Vietnam; shifts US public opinion against war
01 July 1968 Interagency Operation PHOENIX activated under Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support Program in Vietnam; goal is to break Viet Cong support in the countryside.
20 August 1968 Soviets invade Czechoslovakia to suppress reformist government
17 November 1969 US-USSR Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) begin
30 April 1970 US and South Vietnam troops invade Cambodia to cut Communist supply routes
01 September 1970 Computer files on terrorists and hijackers created.
13 June 1971 The New York Times publishes the “Pentagon Papers” – classified historical documents on US involvement in Vietnam
21 February 1972 President Nixon visits China
26 May 1972 US and USSR sign Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, followed by signing of SALT I agreement in August
17 June 1972 Watergate break-in; five of the men arrested have past CIA ties
27 January 1973 US signs Paris Peace Accords intended to end Vietnam War
02 February 1973 James Schlesinger appointed DCI; launches far-reaching personnel and organizational changes at CIA. Deputy Director for Operations William E. Colby would soon compile a list of allegations about Agency misdeeds (known as the “Family Jewels”).
04 September 1973 William E. Colby appointed DCI.
06 October 1973 Arab coalition attacks Israel at the start of Yom Kippur war
01 August 1974 CIA transfers the U-2 Program to the US Air Force.
January-February 1975 President Ford establishes a commission under the supervision of Vice President Rockefeller to investigate CIA domestic activities.
18 March 1975 News reports expose the Glomar Explorer, a ship involved in the 1974 joint CIA-US Navy-Howard Hughes operation to salvage a sunken Soviet submarine in the Pacific.
30 April 1975 US Personnel evacuate Saigon as South Vietnam falls to the Communists
23 December 1975 CIA Station Chief Richard Welch is assassinated outside of his home in Athens, Greece. The Greek terrorist organization "17 November" takes credit.
30 January 1976 George H. W. Bush appointed DCI.
18 February 1976 Executive Order 11905 reinforces the DCI ‘s powers in the Intelligence Community and prohibits assassinations of foreign leaders.
01 March 1976 US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) established.
23 April 1976 Final report of US Senate’s Church Committee concludes that CIA, far from being the “rogue elephant" as charged by Senator Frank Church, always had acted under Executive Authority.
19 May 1976 US Senate’s SSCI, under the chairmanship of Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), is given responsibility for oversight of the nation's intelligence organizations.
01 June 1976 DCI George Bush encourages competitive CIA analysis of the Soviet strategic threat via the “A-Team/B-Team” process.
09 March 1977 Admiral Stansfield Turner appointed DCI.
14 July 1977 US House of Representatives establishes a Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Edward P. Boland (D-MA). This committee differs from the Senate version in that it has sole oversight jurisdiction over the CIA but shares responsibility for legislative oversight for all other intelligence agencies with several other House committees.
04 November 1979 Iran seizes US Embassy in Tehran, holding dozens of US hostages until January 1981
25 December 1979 Soviets invade Afghanistan
28 January 1980 CIA officers exfiltrate six US diplomats from Iran. To help facilitate the rescue, the CIA team set up “Studio Six Productions” and titled its new production “Argo.”
28 January 1981 William J. Casey appointed DCI.
13 December 1981 Poland’s Communist government declares martial law and suppresses Solidarity Movement
23 June 1982 President Reagan signs the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, banning publication of the names of covert intelligence officers.
18 April 1983 Terrorists bomb US Embassy in Beirut; many Americans killed
25 October 1983 US invades Grenada to rescue stranded US citizens and to topple its Marxist regime
24 May 1984 Construction begins on CIA New Headquarters Building; President Reagan participates in the groundbreaking ceremony.
07 June 1985 Year of the Spy: Fourteen Americans are arrested and/or convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and its allies, as well as for Israel, China, and Ghana. Included were John Walker (whose ring of spies stole vital secrets from the US Navy) and CIA’s Edward Lee Howard (who eluded the FBI). CIA’s Aldrich Ames (who began working for the KGB in April 1985), and FBI’s Robert Hanssen (who volunteered to the Soviets in October 1985) were arrested and convicted years later.
01 November 1985 Then Vice President (now former President) George H. W. Bush presides at the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the CIA New Headquarters Building.
02 November 1985 KGB officer Vitaly Yurchenko redefects to the USSR, igniting debate over the authenticity of his original defection.
02 February 1986 CIA creates Counterterrorism Center.
26 April 1986 Russian nuclear reactor in Chernobyl explodes
29 January 1987 DCI William Casey officially resigns from CIA; incapacitated by a stroke at the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, he died in May 1987.
26 May 1987 William H. Webster appointed DCI.
27 May 1987 First annual memorial ceremony commemorates Agency employees who died in the line of duty.
07 August 1987 USSR grants asylum to former CIA officer Edward Lee Howard.
04 April 1988 CIA creates Counterintelligence Center.
21 December 1988 Libyan-sponsored terrorists blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
05 April 1989 Poland’s government restores Solidarity Movement’s legal status; vows to permit free elections
03 June 1989 Chinese troops crush protest demonstration in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
09 November 1989 German citizens from both East and West Berlin tear down Berlin Wall
20 December 1989 US invades Panama to arrest strongman president General Manuel Noriega on narcotics trafficking charges
Late 1989 CIA New Headquarters Building, an extension of the Original Headquarters Building, is completed and occupied.
Early May 1990 First CIA warning memo on possible Iraqi military invasion of Kuwait.
02 August 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait
03 October 1990 West and East Germany unify as a single republic in NATO
17 January 1991 US-led coalition begins Operation Desert Storm to enforce UN resolutions and to drive Iraq out of Kuwait
06 November 1991 Robert M. Gates appointed DCI.
18 December 1991 Berlin Wall Monument at CIA Headquarters dedicated.
21 December 1991 USSR splits into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
01 March 1992 CIA establishes its Office of Military Affairs to coordinate operations with Department of Defense.
25 January 1993 Amal Kasi attacks CIA employees outside Headquarters main gate, killing two people and wounding three.
05 February 1993 R. James Woolsey appointed DCI.
26 February 1993 Islamic terrorists bomb New York World Trade Center; Ramsi Yousef responsible
21 December 1993 President Boris Yeltsin abolishes KGB
21 February 1994 CIA employee, Aldrich Ames, arrested for spying for Russia.
19 September 1994 US Operation Uphold Democracy lands troops in Haiti
10 May 1995 John M. Deutch appointed DCI.
21 November 1995 Bosnia Peace Accord signed; US sends 20,000 troops to UN International Peacekeeping Force in Bosnia
07 June 1996 CIA dedicates Memorial Garden at Headquarters.
23 September 1996 National Imagery and Mapping Agency Act creates NIMA, combining CIA’s NPIC and other components of the Intelligence Community and DOD.
16 November 1996 CIA employee, Harold Nicholson, arrested for spying for Russia.
15 June 1997 Joint FBI-CIA team tracks Amal Kasi, who attacked CIA employees in 1993, to Pakistan where he is arrested and extradited to the US; he is later tried and convicted; he was executed in 2002.
11 July 1997 George J. Tenet appointed DCI.
08 January 1998 Ramsi Yousef sentenced to life in prison for 1993 New York World Trade Center bombing
07 August 1998 Al-Qa’ida bombs US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; more than 225 people killed
24 March 1999 NATO begins air bombing campaign to force Serbia out of Kosovo
26 April 1999 CIA Headquarters compound dedicated as the George Bush Center for Intelligence.
07 June 1999 Usama bin Laden added to FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list
02 November 1999 CIA establishes Senior Analytic Service (SAS).
14 December 1999 NATO and Yugoslavia sign accord for withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo
12 October 2000 Al-Qa’ida attacks USS Cole in Aden, Yemen; 17 sailors killed
11 September 2001 Al-Qa’ida terrorists crash airplanes into World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, PA, killing almost 3,000 people
16 September 2001 DCI Tenet writes memo – “We are at war.”
26 September 2001 CIA’s Jawbreaker team lands in Afghanistan; four hours later, communications were up and running.
07 October 2001 Operation ENDURING FREEDOM begins.
17 November 2001 Taliban removed from power in Afghanistan
24 May 2002 Route 123 Memorial dedicated to CIA employees who were attacked outside the gate.
11 March 2003 Pakistan captures Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, reported mastermind of 9/11 attacks
19 March 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom launched
09 April 2003 Saddam Hussein’s regime collapses in Iraq
13 December 2003 U.S. Special Forces capture Saddam Hussein near Tikrit, Iraq
24 September 2004 Porter J. Goss appointed the 19th (and last) DCI.
01 October 2004 Afghanistan holds first national election
17 December 2004 President Bush signs Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, abolishing positions of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) and creating position of Director, Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA).
01 January 2005 Iraq holds first national election
21 April 2005 Porter J. Goss appointed first Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
22 April 2005 Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) begins operations at 0700 EST; Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Negroponte takes the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) into the Oval Office that morning.
07 July 2005 Islamic terrorists bomb London subway and bus system, killing 52 and injuring 700
30 May 2006 Gen. Michael V. Hayden, USAF, appointed D/CIA.
30 December 2006 Saddam Hussein executed at Iraqi army base in Baghdad
30 July 2008 President Bush signs revised version of Executive Order 12333, which formally outlines the goals and duties of the Director of National Intelligence and places a powerful emphasis on inter-agency collaboration. It also reaffirms CIA’s statutory authorities and its leadership in fields ranging from human intelligence to covert action abroad.
26 November 2008 Attacks at 10 sites in Mumbai, India kill almost 200 people
13 February 2009 Leon E. Panetta appointed as D/CIA.
01 October 2009 The CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security was created as a primary producer of finished intelligence on the national security implications of climate change, including its impact on the political, economic, and social stability of foreign nations. The Center brings together specialists from the DI and the DS&T, enabling greater collaboration on this important national security issue.
25 December 2009 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempts to destroy flight over Detroit with PETN explosives hidden in his clothes
30 December 2009 In southeastern Afghanistan, on a remote base, a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest kills 7 CIA officers.
27 June 2010 Ten Russian spies are arrested in the US. On 9 July they are exchanged for four prisoners held in Russia who have been convicted of having contact with Western intelligence agencies. The ten spies released pled guilty to conspiring to serve as unlawful foreign agents.
5 August–13 October 2010 A large cave-in at a Chilean copper-gold mine trapped 33 men 2,300 feet underground, 3 miles from the mine entrance.  They survived for a record 69 days.
18 August 2010 Director Leon Panetta announces the creation of CIA's Counterproliferation Center; it combines operational and analytic specialists combating the spread of dangerous weapons and technology.
08 January 2011 Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in Arizona during her first "Congress on Your Corner" gathering of the year. The gunman injured 14 and killed six.
25 January–11 February 2011 The Egyptian revolution and uprising - mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance.
11 March 2011 The Tōhoku earthquake was a magnitude-9.0 undersea earthquake off the coast of Japan.
19 April 2011 CIA released the US Government's six oldest classified documents, dating from 1917 and 1918. The documents describe secret-writing formulas, letter-opening techniques, and methods of covert communications.  They are housed at the National Archives and are believed to be the only remaining classified documents from the World War I era. Pictured here, and advanced flaps and seals kit.
01 May 2011 President Barack Obama announced that most-wanted fugitive Usama Bin Laden, the founder and leader of al-Qa’ida, was killed during an American operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
06 September 2011 General David Petraeus (USA Retired) sworn in as D/CIA.

Posted: Jul 23, 2012 09:03 AM
Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016 11:55 AM