21 Lesser Known Facts About The American Secret Service

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The secret service agencies of the American government perform crucial tasks like protecting the president and his family. Very little information is provided to the public about them. But we have found 21 facts about them which will surprise you.

They were established by President Lincoln: 

President Lincoln ordered to form this secret service as a part of US Treasury on the day he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. The agency worked till 1901 as a tool to combat counterfeiting of US currency. They got the task of presidential protection 36 years after the death of Lincoln.

There are many agents in the service:

As many as 6500 agents are working currently as the part of the secret agency which will increase if you count various other workers who take part in the protection of the president.

Presidential protection started in 1901:

After 36 years of their formation, in 1901, they were tasked with the protection of US presidents after the assassination of President William McKinley. Initially only two agents were assigned to guard the White House.

Their training is brutal:

Only the finest candidates are chosen for the job. They have to face bullets and survive in the water as a part of their curriculum.

They guard other dignitaries also:

Apart from protecting the president, the secret agents are also assigned to guard his wife and family. They also protect former presidents and their families.

They possess medical skills:

Every agent is trained basic medical skills so that they can take care of nay emergency situation. When planning president’s transportation they make sure that a hospital is available within 10 minutes.

They carry president’s blood:

After the assassination of former president Ronald Reagan, the agents have started to carry a pouch of the blood type that matches the president for emergency needs.

They have never been betrayed:

Unlike the FBI or COA, this agency never faced any instances of betrayal by their own members. There has never been a case involving a whistle blower also.

FBI was made from secret service:

The FBI was born as the justice department needed more men for conducting national level investigations. Hence in 1908 they took 9 men from the secret service and formed FBI.

Mount Weather exists:

In the Blue Ridge Mountains there is a Mount Weather facility used for emergency meetings and operations. They can hide government officials in bunkers so that they can’t be harmed by terrorist attacks.

Presidents have code names:

Every president is given a code name for their reference among the ranks. Obama had codename Renegade while Bush chose renaissance. The family members of the president are also given a codename starting with the same letter.

AL Capone’s car was used by them:

After Pearl Harbor, they needed an armored car for then president Roosevelt but didn’t have enough funds to get one. Hence they used AL Capone’s car for this purpose.

They cooperate with presidents in their hobbies:

The agents take part in the hobbies of the presidents so that they can protect them all the time. They go on morning walks with the president and play the sport of his choice.

They have a backup for Airforce one:

Although they use Air force one as the official transport of the president they have backup planes for emergency situations.

Their forensics unit is massive:

The forensic department of the agency is state of the art. They have world’s largest ink library and latest audio enhancing devices. These upgrades were allocated by former president Clinton to help with explosives and finding lost children.

President’s car is nicknamed ‘The Beast’: 

The president’s highly customized car that is used for his daily transport is nicknamed ‘The Beast’. It is known for its state of the art defense mechanisms.

Jacqueline Kennedy used to smoke her agent’s cigarettes:

Former president John Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline, was addicted to smoking. She used to lend cigarettes from agent Clint Hill who was tasked with the protection of her husband.

The death car:

After the tragic assassination of Kennedy, several measures were taken to ensure such incidents never happen in the future. They started using another car along with the president’s car to fool terrorists.

President Johnson peed on his agent:

Former president Johnson had little respect for his agents. On one occasion he wanted to pee and his agent was shielding him during it. The president missed his aim and peed on the agent’s leg. When the agent said that is was gross the president replied that it was his prerogative.

They use sunglasses: 

Their use of sunglasses has always been subject to many conspiracy theories but in reality they use sunglasses to protect themselves from sunlight.

Agents always keep their hands near their waist:

They do this all the time to show attackers that they are on alert and can stop the attacker from reaching the president at all costs.