For the first forty years of its existence, the principal responsibility of the United States Secret Service (Secret Service) was to combat counterfeiting. It was organized in 1865 as an investigative bureau of the Department of the Treasury after Treasury officials determined that fully one-third of paper money in circulation was counterfeit. The Secret Service proved to be quite effective in its anti-counterfeiting mission. Due to the success of its investigations, the percentage of counterfeit currency diminished significantly. By 1867, counterfeiting was largely brought under control.

Because of the Secret Service's proven proficiency, and the fact that it was the only general Iaw-enforcement agency in the federal government, its duties were broadened substantially. In 1867, it began conducting investigations into other violations of federal law, induding Ku Klux Klan


activities, smuggling, mail robberies, land frauds, bank frauds, and illegal distilling. Through the end of the nineteenth century, Congress periodically expanded and narrowed the Secret Service's sphere of responsibility. It never, however, authorized the Secret Service to provide protective services to the President.

Consequently, when the Secret Service detailed operatives to the White House for the first time in the spring of 1894, it was exceeding its mandate. Its assumption of protective functions grew directly out of its authorized activities, however. A band of Colorado gamblers that the Secret Service had been investigating made threats against President Cleveland. In order to protect the President, the Secret Service transferred the two men who had been conducting the Colorado phase of the investigation to the White House. It instructed them to "watch for suspicious persons who might be Western gamblers, anarchists, or cranks." (Kaiser, "Origins of Secret Service Protection," p. 103).

The Secret Service's protective activities continued in the summer of 1894, when Mrs. Cleveland, after learning of an apparent plot to kidnap the Cleveland children from the family's summer home in Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts, persuaded the Secret Service to detial three operatives there. At


first, President Cleveland, who did not arrive in Massachusetts until later in the season, was unaware of this arrangement. He apparently approved of it when he learned of it, however, for the detail guarded the family again the next summer. he Cleveland Administration concealed this unauthorized use of the Secret Service for presidential protection.

During the first Administration of President William McKinley (1897-1901), the Secret Service's protective activities became more regular and more public. In early 1898, Secret Service Chief William Hazen was demoted, largely because of charges that he misused the Secret Service's appropriation by authorizing the protective detail for the Cleveland family. Later that year, however, the start of the Spanish-American War led to the first legal use of the Secret Service for Presidential protection. A detail of four agents, operating under special emergency was fund, was assigned to the Executive Mansion to guard McKinley around the clock. They were stationed on the first and second floors of the Mansion and on the White House grounds. [13]

[13 During the Spanish-American War, the Secret Service also served as the primary intelligence agency for the War Departnent. It gathered intelligence and conducted counter espionage activities both domestically and abroad.]


After the war, Secret Service operatives continued to serve at the White House at least part of the time. In addition, operatives regularly accompanied McKinley during his travels. With the expiration of the emergency war fund these activities once again exceeded the Secret Service's statutory authority. However, Secret Service Chief John Wilkie felt obligated to provide the protection anyway. President McKinley received a large number of threats, which seemed particularly credible in light of a series of political assassinations that took place in Europe during this period.

In 1901, President McKinley was shot and fatally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while standing in a receiving line at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Three Secret Service operatives were guarding him at the time, along with eighteen exposition policemen, eleven members of the Coast Guard, and four Buffalo city detectives. One of the Secret Service operatives was out of position when Czolgosz approached President McKinley, because the president of the exposition d requested the spot directly next to MdCinley, where the operative normally stood.

In response to the McKinley assassination, Presidential protection intensified. Theodore Roosevelt, McKinley's successor, was more heavily guarded than any previous peacetime President. The Secrct Service assumed


full-time responsibility for Roosevelt's safety. There were always at least two operatives in street clothes stationed at the White House, and Mrs. Edith Carow Roosevelt, the President's spouse, often requested additional protection without the President's knowledge. Operatives accompanied President Roosevelt whenever he traveled. The Secret Service also increased its efforts to gather intelligence regarding potential threats.

Although these activities were generally acknowledged and accepted, they continued to exceed the Secret Service's statutory mandate. After the McKinley assassination, Congress considered and rejected numerous bills concerning the protection of the President. One source of disagreement in Congress was whether the primary responsibility for Presidential security should fall to the Secret Service or to the military.

In 1902, the Senate approved a bill that, in addition to making assassination and attempted assassination capital crimes, directed the Secretary of War "to select and detail from the Regular Army a sufficient number of officers and men to guard and protect the person of the President of the United States without any unnecessary display." (35 Cong. Rec. 2275 (1902)). The bill so directed the Secretary of War "to make special rules and regulations as to


dress, arms, and equipment ... of said guard." In other words, the bill authorized the creation of a plainclothes, secret service within the army.

Many senators opposed making Presidential security a military function. They argued that encircling the President with troops would undermine the spirit of democracy. One senator stated:

I would object on general principles that it is antagonistic to our traditions, to our habits of thought, and to our customs that the President should surround himself with a body of janizaries or a sort of Praetorian guard, and never go anywhere unless he is accompanied by men in uniform and men with sabers as is done by the monarchs of the continent of Europe .. - ∑" (Cong. Rec., In: sess., 1902, 35, pt. 3: 3049 (Remarks by Sen. Mallory)).

Senators who supported the military option countered that soldiers would make effective guards, unlike the Secret Service operatives who had failed to protect McKinley in Buffalo.

When the House Committee on the Judiciiry amended the bill, it struck the section making the army responsible for Presidential protection. The Committee warned that under the Senate's version of the bill:

the Secretary of War may detail every man and officer in the Regular Army, under rhe pretense of protecting the President, dress them to suit his fancy, and send them abroad among the people to act under secret orders. When such laws begin to operate in this Republic the liberties of the people will take wings and fly away. (House Committee on the Judiciary, Protection of the President and the Suppression of Crime Against Government. 57th Cong., 1st sess., H. Rep. 1422, 13 (1902)).


The Committee further stated that the President should instead be protected ∑ by a "Secret-service force . . . act[ing] under orders from the Secretary of the Treasury." The Senate and House could not resolve their differences over this issue, however, and the conference version of the bill thus did not even address which entity should protect the President. Ultimately, this bill died, along with seventeen other Presidential protection measures introduced after the McKinley assassination. finally, in 1906, Congress quietly included language in the Sundry Civil Expenses Act authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to use funds for "the protection of theperson of the President of the United States." [14]

Law thus caught up to reality, as the Secret Service finally received express funding to perform the Presidential security function it had in fact assumed twelve years earlier. The Secret Service has continued to protect the "person of the President" ever since.

In the period immediately following its official designtion as the agency responsible for protecting the President, the Secret Service usually

[14 See 43 Stat. 708. Although today the military provides extensive logistical support to the Secret Service, the military role was begun to ensure the continuity of the presidency. The Secret Service never relinquishes its role of protecting its protectees.]


assigned two agents to serve as presidential bodyguards. hen the President took extended vacations, the detail increased to eight to allow aound-the-clock protection.

Although the Secret Service has never in recent history identified precisely the number of personnel or the amount of resources committed to its protective mission, both figures have clearly increased dramatically over the course of the century. One reason for these increases is that large number of people have been added to the list of Secret Service protectees; The following chart indicates these additions. The current line of Secret Service protectees is enumerated in 18 U.S.C. 3056.

(See Chart 1 on the following page.)



Protectees Year Officially Authorized Comments _________________________________________ President-elect 1913 Actually began 1908 for President elect Taft. President's immediate family 1917 Actually began for President Cleveland's family 1894. Full-time protection for President Taft's children (1909-1913) Vice-Preident (at his request) 1951 Vice-President (not requiring his request) 1962 Vice-President-Elect 1962 Former President (at his request for a reasonable period after leaving office estimated 6 months) 1962 Officer next in line to succeed the President if no Vice-Preident 1962 Widow and minor children of former President for 2 years after President leaves office or dies in office 1963 Respose to assassination of President Kennedy Former President and wife during his lifetime 1965 Widow and minor children of former President for 4 years after he leaves office or dies in office 1965 Major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate Respose to assassination of Robert Kennedy 1968 Widow of former Prersident until death or remarriage. Minor children of former President until 16 years old 1968 Visiting head of foreign states or governments. At President's direction, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States and official representative of The United States performing special missions abroad 1971 During World War II, protection provided for foreign dignitaries including Norwegian Crown Princess Martha, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Madame Chiang Kai-shek of China, and Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands Immediate family of Vice-President 1974 Spouses of Major Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates 1976 Spouses of visiting heads of foreign states or foreign governments 1986 Mandated by a National Security Directive


Another reason why the Secret Service has elevated the amount of resources and personnel dedicated to its protective mission is the fact that its protectees have been subjected to life-threatening assaults with increasing frequency. Since the Secret Service was officially authorized to provide protective services in 1906, only one person has been killed under its watch - President John F. Kennedy, who was fatally wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

Since the inception of the Secret Service, however, there also have been six other potentially deadly assaults on Secret Service protectees.

The first occurred on February 1, 1933, in Miami, Florida Giuseppe Zangara fired five shots a President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was making an impromptu speech while sitting in an open car that had stopped momentarily. Although none of the shots hit President Roosevelt, Zangara mortally wounded Anton Cermak, the Mayor of Chicago, and hit four other people, including a Secret Service agent.

The second, and only assult that involved an organized conspiracy, took place on November 1, 1950, when two Puerto Rico nationalists, Oscar


Collazo and Griselio Torresola attempted to assassinate President Truman by . shooting their way into Bliar House, his temporary residence across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.[15] The assault was timed to coincide with a rebellion against American authority in Puerto Rico.

Collazo and Torresola approached Blair House from opposite directions and started firing on the Secret Service agents and White House Police officers guarding the building. In the course of the shootout, Torresola and White House Officer Leslie Coffelt were killed. Collazo and two other White House policemen were wounded. Neither assailant reached the entrance to the building. If one of them had, he would have faced an agent waiting in the front hall with a Thompson submachine gun.

On May 15, 1972, Arthur Bremer shot Presidential candidate George Wallace at an open-air rally at a shopping center in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace, the Governor of Alabama stepped out from behind a bullet-proof podium to shake hands with members of the crowd. As he approched Bremer, the would-be assassin fired barrage of bullets at Wallace. Wallace was hit

[15 Truman and his family temporarily resided at Blair House because the White House was being renovated.]


repeatedly. Three other people were also struck, including a Secret Service agent. Wallace was paralyzed as a result of the attack.

On September 5, 1975, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, attempted to shoot President Gerald Ford as he walked across the grounds of the California Capitol in Sacramento. As Ford passed a group of spectators, Fromme pointed a pistol at him. A Secret Service agent grabbed the weapon and pushed Fromme's arm down. As he wrestled her td the ground, she repeatedly exclaimed it did not go off!" It was later determined that there were no bullets in the firing chamber, although there were four in the gun's magazine.

Just seventeen days after the Fromme incident, Sara Jane Moore fired a bullet at President Ford in San Francisco. As 'President Ford exited a downtown hotel, Moore, standing in a crowd of onlookers cross the street, pointed her pistol at him. Just before she fired, a civilian grabbed at the gun and deflected the shot. The bullet missed Ford but slightly injured a bystander. Moore-was known radical and a former FBI informant.

The most recent incident occurred on March 30, 1981, when John Hinckley fired six shots at President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington


Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hinckley was standing in a group of spectators several yards from the President. When Hinckley began shooting, Secret Service Secret Agent Tim McCarthy was shot u he shielded President Reagan with his body. Service Agent Jerry Parr pushed Reagan into a limousine, but not before the President was shot beneath his left arm by a bullet that ricocheted off the car. Other bullets struck Presidential Press Secretary James Brady; Agent Tim McCarthy; and Sergeant Thomas Delahanty, a Washington Metropolitan Police officer. President Reagan was seriously wounded, but recovered completely.

The Secret Service has often modified its protective methods and strategies in response to attacks on its protectees. For example, after the Blair House incident, the Secret Service began to keep the location of President Trumanís morning walks secret, and to prohibit public access to the sidewalk outside Blair House when the President was there. In reaction to Frommeís attempt on President Ford, the Secret Service started to keep Ford at a more secure distance from anonymous crowds, a strategy that may have saved his life seventeen days later when Moore shot at him.

The Kennedy assassination triggered the most extensive changes during this century in the Secret Service's approach to Presidential protection. To


investigate the assassination, President Johnson established a commission known Is the Warren Commission because it was chaired by Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In its 1964 Report, the Warren Commission made numerous recommendations regarding Presidential security. Over the next decade, the Secret Service implemented these recommendations, which fell into three broad areas: (1) an increase in the number of Special Agents assigned to protect the President, and improved training for such agents; (2) an expansion of protective intelligence activities and of cooperation with other law enforcement agencies; and'(3) the acquisition of sophisticated data processing, communications, and technical ,security equipment. The Secret Service created a number of new divisions, incuding rhe lntelligence Division, the Technical Security Division and the Liaison Division, to implement these changes.

In the modern Secret Service, the division directly responsible for the personal security of the President and the First Family is the Presidential Protective Division (PPD). This division continually maintains a close perimeter of agents around its protecrees. It also conducts advance security surveys for Presidential trips and major events. Since 1992, PPD has included a specil unit known as the Counter Assult Team(CAT). CAT was created in the late 1970s within select field offices to neutralize an attack on a protectee as


quickly as possible. Until it was incorporated lnto PPD, CAT was part of the Special Services Division.

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