The idea for the Secret Service was presented to Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. That evening, the President was assassinated.
One of the most elusive and elite enforcement groups on the planet is the Secret Service. Most of what the average person knows comes from Hollywood spy films or watching a small entourage swarming the President. What you learn through these channels isn’t actually the truth about this government agency. It IS true that Lincoln signed the Secret Service into existence the morning of his assassination but their job responsibility was actually to investigate and stop counterfeit money. Almost 1/3 of the money circulating in the United States was fake due to old systems of state banks producing money. A national currency wasn’t adopted until 1863 so there were a lot of counterfeiters taking advantage of the old money system and a task force to monitor the situation was severely needed.
As time went on, the Secret Service took on more and more responsibilities until the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. At this point, Congress requested the Secret Service add the task of protecting the President to its duties. This is the most visible arm of the agency and the duty we are all most familiar with. In fact, the Secret Service doesn’t just guard the President but their families, former Presidents and first families, the Pope and foreign officials deemed important by the U.S.
Not all Presidents enjoy being “babysat” by the Secret Service but they have prevented many threats from being implemented. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more beyond that about those secret agents or how they help the nation aside from Presidential duty. Regardless, this elite agency protects more than our Commander in Chief and continues to dutifully fulfill their responsibilities every day.
Conversation Ice Breaker Factoid: There is a secret bunker hidden in a mountain used to stash a major government representative when there is an event in which all state officials gather. This keeps our entire government from being wiped out in one fell swoop. It is often referred to as Mount Weather.
Conversation Ice Breaker Factoid Number Two: The Secret Service gives each President a unique code name. We are used to hearing “the Eagle has landed”, which is in reference to President Clinton, but the others have their own monikers. Jimmy Carter was Deacon; Bush Senior was Gray Wolf, Bush Junior is Acrobat, Obama is Renegade and Trump is Mogul.