Every afternoon join me for CLOCK WATCHER TRIVIA. At 4pm each day I give you a new question to ponder. If you are the first to correctly answer it, you can win! And it's great fun, as you wait for quitting time to roll around. Missed a question? Want to find out who won? You can get that here: 987theriver.com/pages/trivia.html
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Friday (July 5) marks the anniversary of the U.S. Secret Service.
On July 5, 1865, United States Secret Service was created. At first, the agency was only responsible for protecting against the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Oddly enough, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated just months before this, but it took until 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley, for the Secret Service to begin protecting the President. The scope of responsibility for the Secret Service has grown enormously over the years. This arm of the U.S. Treasury is now also responsible for guarding the White House, the Executive Office Building, the Treasury building and annex along with all of the money in its vaults.
To date, there has been only one Secret Service agent who was killed during an assassination attempt. On November 1, 1950, Private Leslie Coffelt was shot by two Puerto Rican nationalists as he was trying to shield President Harry Truman.
On September 3, 1902, William Craig became the first Secret Service agent to die while on presidential duty. He suffered from deadly injuries when a speeding trolley rammed into the presidential horse carriage. President Theodore Roosevelt, however, walked away with minor cuts and bruises.
The Secret Service agency fell under the United States Treasury Department till 2003. Since then it's been a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The Secret Service assigns every president a code name. For example, John F. Kennedy was assigned the name Lancer, whereas George W. Bush was called Tumbler. President Barack Obama is called Renegade by the Secret Service -- or was until the name became public.
Most people wrongly assume that the Secret Service is active only in Washington D.C. The fact is that this agency has field offices in all 50 American States and over two dozen countries around the world.
The Secret Service has close to 3,200 special agents, 1,300 Uniformed Division officers and over 2,000 technical support and administrative employees.
The annual budget of this multi-purpose agency is almost $1.5 billion. That's less than 1/5th that of the $8 billion assigned to the FBI. But the FBI has nearly 7 times as many employees as the Secret Service.
At the time of appointment, all Secret Service agents must be U.S. citizens, possess valid driver's licenses and should have no worse than 20/60 vision correctable to 20/20 in each eye and should be between the ages of 21 and 37. However, war veterans exceeding the age limit are now allowed in the agency under special provisions.