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History of the Secret Service

By Kim Miller - Posted on 28 April 2009

Some of the nation's best law enforcement are members of the United States Secret Service.  (That's opinion, of course...)  Many Americans might not know the origin of the Secret Service; perhaps you'd like a diversion from swine flu stories.

Many years ago (more than I care to admit), I began my career in the financial services industry as a teller, working my way through graduate school.  As I was trained to detect counterfeit currency, I discovered that the U.S. Secret Service is the organization banks turn to for counterfeit expertise.  I was curious about the connection between counterfeiting and protecting our President, and discovered that the Secret Service actually BEGAN with investigating financial crimes -- protecting the President came later. 

Here is the link to the Secret Service website.  You can click on "History" to learn more, but here are some highlights:

1865 - Secret Service began as the organization to suppress counterfeit currency

1867 - Powers were broadened to include "detecting persons perpetrating frauds against the government"

1883 - Was officially acknowledged as a distinct organization within the U.S. Treasury

1894 - Began informal, part-time protection of President Cleveland

1901 - Congress informally requested Secret Service protection of the POTUS after McKinley was assassinated

1902 - Assumed official full-time responsibility for protecting the President

1913 - Congress authorized permanent protection responsibilities

2002 - Officially became part of Dep't of Homeland Security

Hope you find this interesting, or perhaps can use a tidbit in a game of Trivial Pursuit....


I dunno why it bothers me that they are now under Homeland Security.

But it does.


Yeah, I tend to be with you on that one.


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