“Were it not for the brave efforts of Secret Service Agents…I might not be speaking to you here today. [Federal Agents] know, without a doubt, that someday, perhaps today, they may face danger and, perhaps, even tragedy.”
- Ronald Reagan, March 14, 1983
This permanent exhibit at the Reagan Library tells the history and the many responsibilities of the United States Secret Service, America’s elite federal law enforcement agency.
After the Civil War, the Secret Service began as an agency charged with investigating counterfeit currency. Today, they are mandated by Congress to carry out dual missions: protection of national and visiting foreign leaders, and criminal investigations directed at safeguarding the nation’s financial infrastructure.
The exhibit documents how these men and women put their lives on the line every day and are dedicated to serving the American people through five areas:
- The “Not So Secret” History of the United States Secret Service. Beginning with President Abraham Lincoln, visitors will learn that it wasn’t until three U.S. Presidents were assassinated – Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley – when agents were officially assigned to protect the President. And, it wasn’t until the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy that Presidential Candidates were protected.
- Test Your Knowledge of the Secret Service! Practice translating the Secret Service code and learn about the art of protecting the President from global threats.
- Traveling with the President. The image of the Presidential motorcade is one of the most commonly recognizable symbols of Secret Service protection. But sleek, black limousines with darkened windows and advanced technologies are only one facet of presidential travel. Find out how adaptable agents must be able to bike, ride horseback, or navigate through the canals of Venice in order to protect the president.
- What’s it like to be a Secret Service Agent? – for Kids! If you have a budding Secret Service Agent at home, here’s how future agents can find out the nitty-gritty, including basic training!
- Safeguarding America’s Currency – Discover the scope of one of the Secret Service’s major responsibilities, learn how devious the business of counterfeiting has become and find out how to identify a counterfeit bill.
Tickets may be purchased in advance to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Click here to learn more.