Many people are aware that the President of the US, Vice President as well as past presidents and visiting heads of states among other dignitaries are given protection by the United States Secret Service. However, many people are not aware of the fact that the Secret Service was not created solely for the purposes of offering protection to these dignitaries. In fact, the Secret Service was initially established as a federal agency to investigate counterfeiting of the currency following the Civil War. At that time, the counterfeiting of the currency was a big problem and it was felt that a separate agency needs to be created to tackle this issue.
In other words, this agency was established in the 19th century and since then, it has evolved into a fine and well known domestic intelligence as well as counter intelligence agency over many decades. Some of the original missions of this federal agency were later taken over by other federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As far as the primary mission of the agency is concerned, these days it is to protect the payment and financial systems from various types of frauds such as computer fraud, financial institution fraud, identification fraud and other such issues.
Over the years, Secret Service agents have been shown in many movies primarily to offer protection to the President as well as other members of the first family as well as VP and his family. They also offer protection to ex presidents and certain other dignitaries for their lifetime. Overall, there is an interesting history behind this federal investigative agency. If you want to know more about this agency which is more than a century old, there is a lot of information available online on their official website as well as on a number of other authoritative websites.