History of the Secret Service

The Secret Service was created on July 5, 1865, in Washington D.C., solely to stop counterfeit currency. Two years latter there responsibilities were broadened to include "detecting persons perpetrating frauds against the government." This resulted in investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, non conforming distillers, smugglers, mail robbers, land frauds, and a number of other infractions against the federal government and its laws. Throughout the 1870\'s the Secret Service moved from Washington D.C. to New York city and then back to Washington D.C. Also the first commission book and new badge were issued to agents. In 1877 congress passed an Act making it illegal to counterfeit any coin, gold, or silver bar. This helped the secret service crack down on counterfeiting of U.S. currency ( Neal ).
In 1894 the Secret Service began part-time protection of President Cleveland. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 Congress informally requested Secret Service presidential protection and in 1902 the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for protection of the President. Two operatives were assigned full-time to the White House Detail ( Landan).

In 1906 Congress passed Sundry Civil Expenses Act for 1907 that provided protecting for the President by the Secret Service, also agents began to investigate the western land frauds which returned millions of acres of land to the government. Agent Joseph A. Walker was murdered on November 3, 1907 while working on the case. In 1908 the Secret Service began protecting the President-elect along with the President. President Roosevelt transferred eight Secret Service agents from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Justice. They formed the basis of what is how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (www.ustreas.gov/treasury/bureaus/usss/history/index.html ).
In 1915 President Wilson directed the Secretary of the Treasury to have the Secret Service investigate espionage in the United States and in 1917 Congress authorized permanent protection of the President\'s immediate family. They also made "threats" directed toward the President a federal violation. On October 1,1922, the White House Police Force was created at the request of President Warren G. Harding and in 1930 White House Police were placed under the supervision of the Secret Service. Twenty years after the White House Police were created officer Leslie Coffelt, White House Police, was shot and killed by Puerto Rican nationalists white protecting President Truman at the Blair House on November 1,1950. In 1951, triggered by the attack on President Truman , Congress enacted legislation that permanently authorized Secret Service protection of the President, his immediate family, the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect, if he wishes(Public Law-82-79) ( www.ustreas.gov/treasury/bureaus/usss/history/index.html).
Through out the 1960 the Secret Service went through many changes in who it protected, how it protected them and also lost a President. In 1961 Congress authorized protection of former Presidents for a reasonable period of time and in 1962 Congress expanded coverage to include the Vice President (or the next officer to succeed the President) and the Vice President- elect.(Public Law 87-829). After the assignation of John F Kennedy Congress passed a legislation for protection of Mrs. John F. Kennedy and her children for two years and in 1965 Congress authorized protection for former Presidents and their spouses during their life time and minor children until age 16. As a result of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Congress authorized protection of major President and Vice Presidential candidates and nominees in 1968.(Public Law 90-331). Congress also authorized protection of widows of Presidents until death, or remarriage, and their children ( Bakeless ).
In 1970 the White House Police Force was renamed to the Executive Protection Service and increased its responsibilities to include the protection of diplomatic missions in the Washington D.C. area.(Public Law 91-217). In 1971 Congress authorized Secret Service protection for visiting heads of a foreign state or government, or other official guest as directed. Five years after being renamed the Executive Protection Service there duties were expanded to include protection of foreign diplomatic missions located throughout the United States and its territories. On November 15, 1977 the Executive Protection service was officially renamed the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division. In 1984 Congress enacted legislation making the illegal misuse of credit and debit cards a federal violation. The law also authorized the Secret Service to investigate violations relating to credit and