The same day President Lincoln established the Secret Service; John Wilkes Booth assassinated him at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The country mourned and news spread that the President had been shot. It was the first time in our nation's history that a President had been assassinated. As cries from citizens rang out, Congress began to think about adding Presidential protection to the list of duties performed by the Secret Service. However, it would take another 36 years and the assassination of two more Presidents James A. Garfield and William McKinley before the Congress added protection of the President to the list of duties performed by the Secret Service.
A few years in 1867 the secret service was broadened to include "detecting persons perpetrating frauds against the government." This appropriation resulted in investigations into the Ku Klux Klan, non-confirming distillers, smugglers, mail robbers, land frauds, and a number of other infractions against the federal laws. Because of the attempted assassination on President Truman in 1950, Congress permanently authorized Secret Service protection of the President, his immediate family, the President-elect, and the Vice President.
The United States Secret Service today is a part of the Homeland Security Department directed by Michael Chertoff. The Secret Service's primary mission today is the protection of the President and other government officials. The agency also provides security... [continues]
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