With the inauguration coming up next week I thought it would be a good time to learn a little about those ever-present men and women who protect the President.
Here are some of the interesting facts I came across:
The U.S. Secret Service was founded to combat counterfeit currency and authorized by President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. That evening, Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth
It wasn’t until 1894 that The Secret Service began informal part-time protection of President Grover Cleveland
Congress informally requested Secret Service Presidential protection following the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901
In 1951 Congress permanently authorized Secret Service protection of the president, his immediate family, the president-elect, and the vice president
After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Congress passed legislation for protection of Jacqueline Kennedy and her minor children for two years
First Family protection was extended in 1965 when Congress authorized the protection of former presidents and their spouses during their lifetime and minor children until age 16.
Presidential candidates got Secret Service protection after Robert F. Kennedy was killed in 1968 while campaigning
President Ronald Reagan authorized protection of the accompanying spouse of the head of a foreign state or government in 1986
The Patriot Act of 2001 increased the Secret Service’s role in investigating fraud and related activity in connections with computers
Protection began for presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama in May 2007, the earliest initiation of Secret Service protection for any candidate in history.
Presidential candidate New York Senator Hillary Clinton already received protection before she entered the race due to her status as former first lady
The agency now has some 6700 personnel, and 25% are women. Its estimated 2009 budget is $1.4 billion
You can find more Secret Service factoids at Parade.com