to understand the consolidated agency, one must look first at the
history and programs of its component organizations. In the case of
NOAA, those histories are wide and varied and in one case, represent
some of the oldest activities of the Department of Commerce -- dating
back to 1807. The following sections will provide some insight into
the major programs/organizations which, in October 1970, became NOAA.
Science Services Administration
Science Services Administration (ESSA), the largest single piece of
the new NOAA, was itself the product of a reorganization plan. In
Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1965, President Johnson proposed the
consolidation of two long-standing agencies of the Department of Commerce
-- the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Weather Bureau. In addition,
the new ESSA was to include the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory
of the National Bureau of Standards. President Johnson's May 13, 1965
message to Congress noted that:
new Administration will then provide a single national focus for our
efforts to describe, understand, and predict the state of the oceans,
the state of the lower and upper atmosphere, and the size and shape
of the earth.
by President Johnson and, then Director of the Weather Bureau, Dr.
Robert White, the creation of ESSA:
responded to an increasing national need for adequate warnings of
severe natural hazards (e.g., tornadoes, hurricanes, floods);
- responded to technological advances in capabilities to observe
the physical environment and communicate and process environmental
- would enable scientists to investigate the physical environment
as a "scientific whole" rather than a "collection of separate and
distinct fields of scientific interest". 
of ESSA was the result of deliberations by a special committee established
in May 1964 to review the environmental science service activities
and responsibilities of the Department of Commerce. The committee,
comprised of the heads of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS),
the Weather Bureau, and the Coast and Geodetic Survey and supported
by a panel of respected scientists from industry and academia, was
established by Dr. Herbert Hollomon, Assistant Secretary of Commerce
for Science and Technology and reflect [Ed. reflected] the Department's
longstanding commitment to management efficiency, the effective provision
of quality public services. 
and Geodetic Survey
referred to as the Nation's oldest scientific agency, the "Survey
of the Coast" was established on February 10, 1807 by President Thomas
Jefferson. The increasing importance of waterborne Commerce to the
new Nation prompted Jefferson to sign legislation to "cause a survey
to be taken of coasts of the United States."  Using officers detailed
from the Navy (for the seagoing portion of charting) and from the
Army Topographical Bureau, the "Survey" conducted its early activities
under the U.S. Department of Treasury where it shared vessels with
the Revenue Cutter Service, forerunner of the Coast Guard. The Survey
has a rich and interesting history but, since the focus of this volume
is recent Department history (post World War II), the early years
will be represented by the following highlights of significant events:
1816 -- Ferdinand Hassler, first Superintendent of the Survey begins
geodetic work to lay the foundation for accurate surveys.
1818-1832 -- Survey of the Coast operations suspended; survey work
performed by the Navy. During this period, Ferdinand Hassler became
the first head of the newly created Office of Weights and Measures.
This Office was incorporated in the Survey until, in the early 20th
century, it became the National Bureau of Standards.
1834 -- first hydrographic survey along the south shore of Long Island;
1836-1838 -- the re-named "U.S. Coast Survey" conducts its first topographic
surveys of the coasts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
1839 -- first nautical chart produced (Newark Bay).
1840's -- introduction of the first automatic recording tide gage.
1853 -- first issue of the Survey's "Tide Prediction Tables" published.
1875 -- Survey began publishing "Coast Pilots" with critical navigation
information that cannot be portrayed on charts.
1878 -- Survey's name changed to "Coast and Geodetic Survey" to reflect
the role of geodesy in the agency's work.
1882 -- William Ferrel, a survey mathematician, built an analog tide
predicting machine that could produce a curve of future tide motions
(used by the Survey until 1914).
1901 -- the Survey established a standard datum for the U.S. that
provided a unified survey reference system for mapping and engineering
1904 -- weighted wire-drag surveys introduced in hydrography to reveal
the depth and position of submerged rocks and other obstructions.
1907 -- Survey completed a line of geodetic levels across the continental
U.S. which involved 33,000 miles of first-order levels and the establishment
of 13,000 geodetic benchmarks.
1914 -- Survey's Rollin A. Harris and E.G. Fischer develop a new tide
predicting machine which traced a continuous curve showing tide levels
for each day of the year and indicated the time and height of high
and low water; this "technical marvel" remained the principal tide
predicting device until 1966 when replaced by computers.
1917 -- legislation formally creates a Commissioned Officers Corps
to meet the Survey's need and expand the strength of the Navy and
Marine Corps. Originally created as a specialized body of geodetic
and hydrographic engineers, the NOAA Corps now includes biologists,
meteorologists, oceanographers and other scientific disciplines. One
of the Nation's seven uniformed services, this Corps of scientists
and engineers supports the activities of all elements of the Agency.
 It is interesting to note that in1972, the NOAA Corps became the
first of the U.S. uniformed services to recruit women on the same
basis as men.
World War I -- Survey's ships and more than half of its personnel
transferred to the Navy and Army to support the war effort.
1926 -- Survey given responsibility for charting the Nation's airways
and publishing aeronautical charts.
1927 -- North American Datum established making it possible to connect
all surveys and maps on a uniform base.
War II placed unprecedented demands on the services of the Coast and
Geodetic Survey. During the war, nautical chart production increased
10-fold, and aeronautical chart production increased a phenomenal
25-fold. Again, more than half of the Survey's commissioned officers
and many civilian employees served in the military. Also, three of
the Survey's nine major ships were ordered into duty with the Navy.
In fact, the Coast and Geodetic Survey ship Pathfinder narrowly
survived a kamikaze hit in the Pacific and was ultimately scuttled
at Bataan in 1942 after taking two hits in the Japanese attack against