CIA Celebrates Original Headquarters Building's 50th Anniversary
The CIA recently held a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Original Headquarters Building (OHB). CIA officers and special guests joined Director David H. Petraeus on January 11 for the event, which was hosted by CIA’s new Chief of Corporate Learning John Pereira.
Pereira highlighted the historical events witnessed by the building's occupants. “OHB was our home as we focused on the threat of communism, as we prepared for paramilitary action in Vietnam…as we helped accelerate and adjust to the world that was created with the fall of the Soviet Union, and of course, as we prepared our operational plan for the ongoing fight against terrorism,” Pereira noted.
Speaking in the OHB lobby—steps from the building’s cornerstone—Director Petraeus noted the significance of the iconic structures surrounding him.
“It is in these marble walls that our Agency honors its past and proclaims its fundamental mission in words borrowed from the Gospel according to John: ‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”
Director Petraeus also reflected on the building's history, noting that every President since President Kennedy has visited CIA Headquarters.
“Whether our Presidents came out to our Headquarters to receive a briefing, congratulate our officers, or comfort our workforce after colleagues were lost, they always came to visit an organization dedicated to serving our nation’s chief executive and to safeguarding values our country holds so dear,” he said.
Before concluding, Director Petraeus remarked, “Today as we celebrate OHB’s 50th anniversary, it is fitting that we offer our hope that it will stand for many, many more decades as the home of the greatest intelligence service the world has ever seen.”
Complementary Video & Artifacts
Prior to the Director’s remarks, the audience viewed a video entitled: Original Headquarters Building: Celebrating 50 Years. The short film features rare historical photographs and interviews that tell the story of the building’s history and design.
Also on display during the ceremony was an exhibit featuring historical items, including:
- memorabilia from the cornerstone laying ceremony in November 1959,
- a brochure distributed to employees before moving into the building in May 1961,
- a pneumatic tube from the early 1980s, and
- construction photos.
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