United States Department of Justice Company History Timeline

1870

516). The Office of the Clerk of Pardons became a component of the newly created Department of Justice, pursuant to its enabling act, June 22, 1870 (16 Stat.

In 1870, the amount of litigation involving the post-Civil War United States necessitated the expensive retention of private attorneys, until Congress passed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice, led by the Attorney General, to handle the legal business of the United States.

A historical timeline created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Department of Justice, spanning from its beginnings in 1789 to the Department's founding in 1870 to today.

1872

Due to the initial and highly successful efforts of the new Department of Justice and Attorney General Akerman, there was a dramatic decrease in violence in the South by the time he left office in 1872.

1891

162). It was superseded by the Office of the Attorney in Charge of Pardons, established in the Department of Justice by an act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat.

1894

946), and redesignated the Office of the Pardon Attorney in 1894.

1909

On November 16, 1909, Attorney General George Wickersham signed a two-page order creating "The Public Lands Division" of the Department of Justice to step into the breach and address the critical litigation that ensued.

1914

The Clayton Act was enacted in 1914 to work alongside the Sherman Act to prohibit anticompetitive price discrimination, keep corporations from forming unreasonable monopolies and allow individuals to more easily sue for damages.

1919

Although the Antitrust Division had been in existence since June 1919, Harold M. Stephens was sworn-in as the first official Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division.

As of December 1919, four attorneys worked under Ames.

On December 2, 1919, a 23-year-old soldier named William N. Bishop slipped out of the stockade at Camp A. A. Humphreys—today’s Fort Belvoir—in northern Virginia.

1924

On May 10, 1924, Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone appointed the 29-year-old Hoover acting director of the Bureau, and by the end of the year Mr.

1926

On August 26, 1926, Eliot Ness swore in as a temporary prohibition agent with the Prohibition Unit, to which ATF traces its legacy, in Chicago.

1930

The Bureau of Prisons was established within the Department of Justice in 1930 and charged with the management and regulation of all Federal penal and correctional institutions.

In 1930, the Attorney General and several other offices were in five separate buildings, none designed for office work.

1933

On June 10, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order consolidating within the Department of Justice the control of all federal tax litigation.

1934

The notorious inter-state bank robber, John Dillinger, was fresh on the minds of Attorney General Homer S. Cummings and J. Edgar Hoover, head of Justice’s Department of Investigation (D.O.I.) (today’s FBI), in June 1934, three months before the dedication of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building.

Federal Prison Industries (FPI) – more commonly known by its trade name UNICOR – was established by Congress on June 23, 1934, as a wholly owned government corporation.

Less than one month later on July 22, 1934, John Dillinger was shot dead avoiding capture outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago by Justice D.O.I. agents.

Since 1934, the Tax Division has been charged with maintaining uniformity by handling most litigation arising under the internal revenue laws.

1935

It was originally known as the Bureau of Investigation (BIA). In 1935, they were officially renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

1953

In 1953, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., renamed the Claims Division to the Civil Division and broadened its responsibilities to include the disbanded Customs Division.

1957

Following the Act, W. Wilson White became the first Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and on December 9, 1957, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division was created.

1960

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 to establish federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone’s attempt to register to vote.

1968

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 signed into law in April 1968–popularly known as the Fair Housing Act–prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin and sex.

President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, establishing the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

1970

On October 1, 1970, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Kashiwa created a new Pollution Control Section and assigned it responsibility for both civil and criminal enforcement actions by the United States to abate air, water, and other types of pollution.

1972

In June 1972, Jo Ann Kocher was sworn in as the first female ATF special agent.

1973

The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys (AGAC) was first announced in 1973 by Attorney General Elliot Richardson.

1974

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, Public Law 93–415, as amended, established the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to support local and state efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system.

1976

Attorney General Edward H. Levi defined its function formally by order dated February 13, 1976, setting its responsibilities forth in 28 CFR 0.10.

1977

The Office of the Associate Attorney General (OASG) was created on March 10, 1977, by Attorney General Order No.

On October 19, 1977, Public Law 95-139, “An Act to Establish within the Department of Justice the position of Associate Attorney General” created the position in law, giving the President the ability to appoint with the advice and consent of the United States Senate.

1978

The United States Trustee Program was established by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 to promote the efficiency and protect the integrity of the Federal bankruptcy system.

1980

In 1980, AAG Moorman created a new Environmental Enforcement Section.

1984

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is charged by Congress with administering the Crime Victims Fund, established through an amendment to the Victims of Crime Act of 1984.

1986

Congress established ICITAP in 1986.

1987

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) was added in 1987.

1991

OPDAT was created in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in 1991 to promote the rule of law and good governance in emerging democracies and transitioning justice sectors.

1994

In 1994 Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in recognition of the severity of crimes associated with domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, signed by President Bill Clinton, is the largest-ever crime bill in the country's history, providing for 100,000 new police officers and allocating $9.7 billion for prisons and $6.1 billion for prevention programs.

1995

The Office of Tribal Justice was established in 1995 in response to requests from Tribal leaders for a dedicated point of contact for Indian country-specific legal and policy matters.

1998

The United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft on May 18, 1998, alleging that the world’s largest supplier of computer software for personal computers had engaged in anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act.

2000

VAWA 2000 reauthorized grant programs created by VAWA, recognized needs of victims of dating violence, established new grant programs addressing vulnerable populations such as older victims and those with disabilities, and strengthened federal criminal law against cyberstalking.

2001

Hanssen pled guilty to 15 counts of espionage on July 6, 2001 and was sentenced to fifteen consecutive life sentences at ADX Florence, the federal supermax prison near Florence, Colorado.

The Department of Justice headquarters building was dedicated to Attorney General Kennedy in 2001.

2004

In 2004, OJP components begin supporting anti-human trafficking task forces set up to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases and improve services to trafficking survivors.

2005

The Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT), a component of the National Security Division (NSD), was created by Congress in Section 126 of the Department of Justice Appropriations Act of 2005, Pub.

2006

The National Security Division (NSD) was created in March 2006 by the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization and Improvement Act.

NSD commenced operations in September 2006 upon the swearing in of the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

2007

The 2007 movie “Breach” is based on the true story of Robert Philip Hanssen.

2008

On October 7, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act that authorized the federal government to reopen racially motivated cold cases for investigation and prosecution, in an attempt to bring perpetrators to justice and discover the truth.

2010

The office was recognized as an official component of the Justice Department by statute on July 29, 2010, with the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.

By 2010, research shows that the numbers of investigations, case filings, convictions and prison sentences for the commercial sexual exploitation of children have increased each year since its passage.

2016

On December 2, 2016, ATF national headquarters building in Washington, D.C., was named for Special Agent Ariel Rios who was killed in the line of duty the same day a little more than three decades ago.

2020

And, on June 23rd, the Justice Department offered a $10,000 reward (approx. $200,000 in 2020) for the arrest of Dillinger, and a $5,000 (approx. $100,000) reward for information leading to his arrest.

The bank robber who had reportedly stolen $500,000 ($7M in 2020) from mid-West banks was found with just $7.70 in his pocket.

Founded
1870
Company Founded
Headquarters
Washington, DC
Company Headquarter
Founders
Ulysses Grant
Company Founders

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