On July 1, 1968, the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons was opened for signature in three Depository state capitals: Washington, London, and Moscow. Two years later, it entered into force. The United States was proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this important milestone, as well as the immeasurable contribution this landmark treaty has made to international security.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and to mark the occasion, the United States embarked on a historical access project to make formerly classified documents relating to NPT history available to the public for the first time.
Historical Documents and Photos
On March 5, 2020, 50 years after the treaty entered into force, the State Department released scores of documents from the records of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) covering the negotiation, signature, and ratification of the NPT. These documents are posted on the Department’s FOIA website. The United Kingdom and NATO also released their own collections of documents on their respective roles in support of NPT negotiations in honor of the 50th anniversary.
The United States also released key documents relating to the history of the negotiation of the NPT on June 28, 2018. These were compiled by ACDA, along with the histories for other treaties negotiated in in the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee. Additional declassified scenario documents and background memos for the NPT’s signing in Washington were released July 1, 1968. These documents are posted on the Department’s FOIA website.
Additional documents related to the negotiation of the NPT can be found under Foreign Relations of the United States, as well as on the Department’s FOIA website.
Further resources on the origins of the NPT are available at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, the National Archives and the Woodrow Wilson Center . The United Kingdom and NATO have also released their own collections of documents on their respective roles in support of NPT negotiations.
- President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Remarks at the Signing of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [1,010 KB]
- Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the Depositary Governments [194 KB]
- Summary: NPT Depositary Conference on the 50th Anniversary of the Opening for Signature of the NPT Treaty [125 KB]
- March 5, 2020: Release of Historical Documents Covering the Negotiation, Signature, and Ratification of the NPT
- NPT Historical Photos
- NPT Signature, June 27, 1968
- Signing of the NPT Treaty, July 1, 1968
- Site of the NPT Signing, June 5, 1968
- The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency During the Johnson Administration—Volume II: Policy and Negotiations: The ENDC 1964-1967
- The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency During the Johnson Administration—Volume II: Policy and Negotiations: The ENDC 1967-1968
- The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency During the Johnson Administration—Volume II: 22nd General Assembly
- Video: Signing of the NPT
- Memo to the Secretary of State: Possible Steps in Negotiating A Non-Proliferation Treaty, August 30, 1966 [357 KB]
- Notes from the U.S. and Soviet Meeting on Non-Proliferation, New York, Sept. 27, 1966 [1 MB]
- Working Group Language for the NPT, Sept. 30, 1966 [2 MB]
- German Questions and Answers, Jan. 18, 1967 [1 MB]