The Freedom of Information Act Turns 35
On July 4, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the
Freedom of Information Act. Since that day, it has been vigorously debated
and occasionally amended, reflecting public pressures and the political
struggle between the legislative and executive branches of government.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of the FOIA, the National Security Archive
presents a documentary review of the history of the FOIA through Democratic
and Republican administrations and congresses.
Since becoming law in 1966, and particularly after the 1974
amendments, the FOIA has proved increasingly popular as a means for the
public to obtain access to government records. According to data compiled
by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Information and Privacy, the
latest (Fiscal Year 1999) government-wide figures are as follows:
Total Number of Requests Received: 1,965,919
Total Number of Requests Processed: 1,939,668
Total Costs of the Administration of the FOIA: $286,546,488