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.
Only one member of the Secret Service has died protecting the President
On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists stormed the house that President Harry Truman was living in while the White House underwent renovations. In their attempt to assassinate Truman, they shot Private Leslie Coffelt, a member of the Secret Service, three times. Before he died from his injuries, Coffelt returned fire, shooting one would-be assassin in the head.