Press Preview of Original NATO Treaty
Press Release · Monday, April 4, 1949

Washington, DC

In advance of NATO’s 60th Anniversary

WHAT: The National Archives will unveil, for media only, the original North Atlantic Treaty, known as the Washington Treaty, signed by representatives of 12 nations on April 4, 1949. This is the only opportunity to view the Treaty before it is sent to Strasbourg, France, as part of the 60th Anniversary Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which will take place on April 4, 2009.

The Washington Treaty provides that the treaty shall be deposited in the Archives of the United States. The treaty is preserved in a secure, environmentally-controlled records storage area along with other treaties and international acts.

This will be the only opportunity for the media to view the original Treaty before it is taken to the NATO summit.

The countries that were original signers of this treaty are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Countries which have joined NATO since 1949 are: Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In July 2008, Albania and Croatia signed Accession Protocols. They are expected to become official members of the Alliance in the course of 2009.

WHO: Assistant Archivist of the United States Michael Kurtz will discuss the history of the NATO Treaty and the role of the National Archives in safeguarding it.

WHERE: Room 105, National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

WHEN: Thursday, March 26, 2009, 11 A.M.
Camera pre-set 10:45 A.M.

Please Note: Cameras May Use Available Light Only

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

To RSVP for this event, please contact Jean Duggan at the Foreign Press Center at


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