#1 The Beginning of the United States Secret ServiceThe United States Secret Service was created on April 14, 1865, by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. Ironically, the same day that the Secret Service was created, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth while he was at the theater. Had Abraham Lincoln chose to use the Secret Service for his protection, he might be alive today.
#2 The Secret Service Was Initially Created to Assist the Treasury DepartmentWhen Abraham Lincoln originally created the US Secret Service, he did so to stop the production and use of counterfeit currency. During this time, counterfeit money was a serious problem and it threatened to cause harm to the American economy. It wasn’t until later that the Secret Service changed its focus to protecting the President of the United States. The change was made after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and more threats and attacks were made against the President. When the threats became great, it was decided that the Secret Service’s main duty was to ensure the President’s safety.
#3 President William McKinley is Responsible For the Secret Service’s Duty ChangesIn 1901, there were plenty of assassination attempts made against President McKinley. This is what made the President decide to put the Secret Service in charge of his protection. For many years, it was just the President who received protection. When presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, it was decided that the Secret Service would protect both presidential and vice presidential candidates. The law was put into place in 1968. When Barack Obama was running for president, he started getting the protection that he needed a year and a half before Election Day. This was the earliest a candidate received protection in history.
#4 Only One Agent Died On The JobAlthough the United States Secret Service deals with thousands of death threats and they dedicate their lives to protecting the lives of others, only one Secret Service agent has ever died while on the job. In 1950 the White House was undergoing renovations, which left it more unprotected than usual. At the time, Harry Truman was the President of the United States. One night, two Puerto Rican nationalists stormed the White House hoping to assassinate the President. Luckily, he was staying elsewhere at the time. Sadly, one Secret Service agent was killed during the attack.
#5 There Has Never Been a Traitor In the United States Secret ServiceConsidering how long the Secret Service has been around, it is unbelievable that there has never been a traitor within the organization. Over the years, foreign spies have managed to infiltrate the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA. Luckily for every man who has held the job of the President of the United States, there has yet to be a foreign spy in the US Secret Service.
#6 Code Names Are RealIf you have ever seen a movie or a television show about the Secret Service, you know that they use code names to refer to people and locations, such as the President, the First Lady, and the White House. What you may not know is that the real Secret Service actually do use code names. The White House is called the Castle and the Pentagon is known as Calico. When John F. Kennedy was the president, he was known as Lancer and his wife Jackie was known as Lace. Ronald Reagan was known as Rawhide and Nancy Reagan was known as Rainbow.
#7 There Are Two Divisions Of the Secret ServiceMost people think that the modern day Secret Service has one responsibility, to protect the President of the United States and other important people. There are actually two divisions of the Secret Service. One division is there strictly for protection. The other division is there to do what the agency was originally designed for, to monitor counterfeit currency. They also deal with investigations on major frauds, identity theft, credit and computer fraud, and other financial crimes. The people in this division don’t put their lives on the line the way that the agents on the protection division do.
#8 It is a Very Big AgencySome people believe that the Secret Service is made up of just a handful of people. This is not the case. In total, there are over 6,500 people employed with the Secret Service. There are 3,200 agents working in offices all over the United States and around the world. There are 1,300 agents in the Uniformed Division. These are the people who are responsible for the security and protection of the White House and everyone in it
#9 The FBI Came From the Secret Service Of the 10 things you never knew about the Secret Service, this is the least known. For a while, the Secret Service was working on so many jobs and missions that they couldn’t handle the overload. To make things easier, the Department of Justice hired the United States Secret Service agents to take part in a national investigation. They hired nine people in all, and they called the group the Bureau of Investigation. Later, the name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the FBI.
#10 The Protection Doesn’t Stop When Their Presidency EndsThe list of people that the Secret Service is in charge of protecting is very long. After a President has finished his term, it doesn’t mean the danger to him or his family has ended. There are still people out there who hope to harm former presidents. Because of this, former presidents have protection for themselves and their families for up to 16 years after they leave office. People are allowed to refuse this protection, with the exception of the President of the United States and the Vice President. People in a variety of political offices also get protection. For example, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State in 2009, she was protected while at home. She was eligible for this protection for two reasons. First, her husband was President of the United States less than 16 years prior, and second, because she held a high-ranking political office.