Featured Document Display: North Atlantic Treaty

Monday, April 29, 2024 - Wednesday, July 31, 2024
East Rotunda Gallery

The North Atlantic Treaty

A shield against aggression and fear of aggression—President Harry S. Truman

On April 4, 1949, representatives of the United States, Canada, and 10 Western European nations met in Washington, DC, to sign a mutual defense pact against possible aggression from the Soviet Union. The treaty formed the legal basis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO. Originally signed by the U.S, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal, the alliance has since expanded to 32 members. The U.S. National Archives holds the original treaty and subsequent ratifications. 

Featured Image:  President Harry Truman signs the bill ratifying the North Atlantic Treaty, part of creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in the Oval Office, August 24, 1949. Behind him, from left to right: Sir Frederick Hoyer Millar (United Kingdom), Henrik de Kauffmann (Denmark), W. D. Matthews (Canada), Louis Johnson, (U.S. Secretary of Defense), Wilhelm Munthe de Morgenstierne (Norway), Henri Bonnet (France), Pedro Theotonio Pereira (Portugal), Dean Acheson (U.S. Secretary of State), Jonkheer Otto Reuchlin Reuchlin (Netherlands), and Mario Lucielli (Italy).

National Archives, Records of the National Park Service

View in National Archives Catalog