U.S. Secret Service Company History Timeline


On the advice of Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch, President Lincoln established a commission to stop this rapidly growing problem that was destroying the nation's economy, and on April 14, 1865, he created the United States Secret Service to carry out the commission's recommendations.

The Secret Service Division was formed on July 5, 1865 as part of the Department of the Treasury.

To address this concern, the Secret Service was established in 1865 as a bureau in the Treasury Department to suppress widespread counterfeiting.

The United States Secret Service has grown from a small bureau staffed by a few operatives in 1865, to a law enforcement organization of nearly 7,000 employees worldwide.


After the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, the Secret Service was tasked with the full-time protection of the President of the United States.


Congress passed the Sundry Civil Expenses Act for 1907, which provided funds for presidential protection by the Secret Service.


Congress authorized permanent protection of the President and statutory authorization for President-elect protection. (Treasury Department Appropriations Act of 1913)


Congress authorized protection for the President's immediate family. (Treasury Department Appropriations Act of 1917)

In 1917, threats against the President became a felony (a serious crime in the eyes of the law), and Secret Service protection was broadened to include all members of the First Family.


Private Leslie Coffelt, White House Police, was shot and killed by two Puerto Rican nationalists while protecting President Truman at the Blair House on November 1, 1950.


The 60 acres of land purchased by the United States government for training facilities in 1967 was turned over exclusively to the Secret Service.


Protection was extended to the widow and minor children of a former President until March 1, 1969 (Mrs.


Since 1970, the Uniformed Division has also been responsible for protecting foreign embassies and consulates in and around the Washington, D.C. Area.


An assassination attempt was made on presidential candidate George Wallace in Laurel, Maryland, on May 15, 1972.


Assassination attempts were made on the life of President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, California, on September 5, 1975, and again on September 22, 1975, in San Francisco, California.


The Executive Protective Service was officially renamed the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division on November 15, 1977.


An assassination attempt was made on President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1981.


The Credit Card Fraud Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-473) was passed, making certain fraudulent use of credit and debit cards a federal violation.


The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 made the counterfeiting of United States currency abroad an extraterritorial offense. (Public Law 103-322)


On April 19, 1995, the Murrah Federal Building containing the Oklahoma City Field Office was destroyed by a bomb.

May 19, 1995, Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin signed Treasury Order Number 170-09 prohibiting vehicular traffic on sections of Pennsylvania Avenue and certain other streets adjacent to the White House.


Congress enacted legislation requiring that Presidents in office prior to January 1, 1997, will continue to receive Secret Service protection for their lifetime.


On March 1, 2003, the Secret Service was transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the new Department of Homeland Security.

Since 2003, the Secret Service made nearly 29,000 criminal arrests for counterfeiting, cyber investigations and other financial crimes, 98% of which resulted in convictions, and seized more than $295 million in counterfeit currency.


Congress passed legislation (H.R. 5938); the “Former Vice President Protection Act of 2008,” which authorized Secret Service protection for former Vice Presidents, their spouses and their children less than 16 years of age for up to six months after the Vice President’s term in office has ended.


Julia A. Pierson was sworn in as the 23rd Director of the United States Secret Service on March 27, 2013.


Joseph P. Clancy was appointed as the 24th Director of the United States Secret Service on February 18, 2015.


Randolph D. “Tex” Alles was appointed as the 25th Director of the United States Secret Service on April 25, 2017.

Company Founded
Washington, DC
Company Headquarter
Allan Pinkerton
Company Founders

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