United States Secret Service

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The United States Secret Service was created in 1865 as a federal law enforcement agency within the Treasury Department. It derives its legal authority from Title 18, United States Code, and Section 3056. It was established for the express function of stopping counterfeiting operations which had spread out in our country following the introduction of paper currency during the Civil War. The Secret Service maintains its role as guardian of the integrity of our currency, but at present also investigates crimes involving United States securities, coinage, other government issues, credit and debit card fraud, and electronic funds transfer fraud. The most obvious of its other activities is executive protection, which began after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. Nowadays it forms part of The Homeland Security Department. What is the role of The United States Secret Service? In the 1800s, our nation monetary system was very disordered. Bills and coins were issued by each state through individual banks, which created many types of legal currency. With such amount of different kinds of bills in movement, it was easy for people to counterfeit money. The Secret Service officially went to work on July 5, 1865. Its first chief was William Wood. Chief Wood, widely known for his heroism during the Civil War, was very successful in his first year, closing more than 200 counterfeiting plants. This success helped prove the value of the Secret Service, and in 1866 the National Headquarters was established in the Department of the Treasury building in Washington, D.C. The same evening of the day President Lincoln established the Secret Service, he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., by John Wilkes Booth. It was the first time in our nation's history that a President had been assassinated and it was the reason that the Congress eventually, after two more...
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