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The Most Interesting Facts About the U.S. Secret Service

Updated June 10, 2019 1.2m views28 items

The Secret Service is a very... secretive group. But who is the Secret Service? Always watchful, always keeping close tabs on their charges, the Secret Service has a long history of protecting presidents, vice presidents, presidential families, foreign dignitaries, and even presidential hopefuls. 

When we look behind the scenes of politics in America, the Secret Service is almost always there. This list is full of interesting facts about the Secret Service that you may find extremely surprising. On this list, you'll find modern-day Secret Service facts and historical Secret Service facts. Since its origins as a part of the Department of the Treasury, there are a lot of fascinating stories about the agency and the way it has shaped presidential lives and politics.

Dig into this elite part of the Department of Homeland Security below.

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  • Abraham Lincoln Established The Agency The Day He Was Assassinated

    In a bit of sad irony, President Abraham Lincoln established the Secret Service on April 14, 1865 - the day John Wilkes Booth struck him down. However, another 36 years would pass before presidential protection became part of the organization's duties. 

  • There Has Never Been A Traitor In The Secret Service

    There Has Never Been A Traitor In The Secret Service
    Photo: Pfc. Gabriel Silva / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    While the NSA, CIA, and FBI have all been infiltrated by crafty foreign agents, no Secret Service agent has ever exploited their rank.

  • The FBI Came Out Of The Secret Service

    In 1908, the Department of Justice needed agents to conduct investigations on a national level, so they pulled from the Secret Service. Those nine agents became the Bureau of Investigation, which would eventually become the Federal Bureau of Investigation, better known as the FBI.

  • Secret Service Agents Actively Kept FDR's Disability Hidden

    The Secret Service protected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's public image by hiding his disability. As the President's polio prevented him from walking, Secret Service agents would frequently chase paparazzi if "undesirable" pictures of the President were taken, such as when he had to be carried by agents because his wheelchair couldn't roll over certain terrain.

    Photographers would have their cameras confiscated or "accidentally" destroyed.