Abraham Lincoln created the agency the day he was assassinated
The 16th president of the U.S. created the Secret Service on April 14, 1865. Too bad John Wilkes Booth shot the president while attending the theater later that day.
However, the original mission of the Secret Service was not to protect the president
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The agency was created as a division of the Treasury Department. Its mission? To crack down on the proliferation of counterfeit currency, an epidemic that threatened to destroy the American economy. Don’t miss these secret operations the government doesn’t want you to know about.
Only after attacks on the president happened did the agents’ duties expand
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Following the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, Secret Service agents began watching over presidents full time. After Sirhan Sirhan shot and killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, agents took on the job of protecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates as well. In fact, the Service offered Barack Obama protection a year and a half before election day, the earliest of any candidate in history.