U.S. Marshals Service for Students
The U.S. Marshals Service is the
nation’s oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency. Since
its inception, the U.S. Marshals have served the country through a
variety of vital law enforcement activities.
1789 Congress passed the Judiciary Act,
providing U.S. Marshals to support the federal courts and to carry out
all lawful orders by judges, Congress, or the President.
1789-1865 Until the creation of the Secret
Service in 1865, Marshals were frequently called upon to pursue
U.S. Marshals were required by Congress to take the
national census every ten years.
1801 President Jefferson designated U.S. Marshals as the collection
and disbursal agents of the Federal court system. By this time U.S.
Marshals were also involved in hiring and supervising jails for Federal
prisoners and executing court martials.
1815 U.S. Marshals work as police against pirates and the
territory gained through the Louisiana Purchase that later became a
1865-1900 The various labor disputes of the late 1800's caused
civil disturbances where U.S. Marshals were called upon to maintain law
and order as an alternative to military intervention.
U.S. Marshals tried to keep law and order in the old
west. Four Deputy U.S. Marshals Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp and
Doc Holiday participated in a gunfight at the OK Corral.
Animosities between Republicans and Democrats peaked
in violent outbreaks at the polls and tampering with ballots. U.S.
Marshals upheld the Constitution by controlling disturbances at voting
sites and preserving the citizen's right to vote.
U.S. Marshals helped maintain law and order in the
1894 During the Pullman strike, U.S. Marshals were ordered
by the federal courts and the Cleveland administration to keep the
The Justice Department created salaries for Marshals.
Before that, a Marshal received $2.00 for any outlaw he brought in
alive. However, if an outlaw were killed during his capture, the Marshal
received no compensation and was responsible for the burial fee for the
Until the Treasury Department created the Bureau of
Prohibitions in 1927, the U.S. Marshals were the enforcing agents of the
Prohibition laws that forbid liquor.
Marshals help protect African American people trying
obtaining equal treatment.
1960 Marshals provide security to James Meredith and Ruby
Bridges when they become integrated in public education facilities.
1967 Marshals help protect the rights to lawfully protest
as well as stop violence during public protest.
The Witness Security Program was established as a
division within the USMS. Also, the Special Operations Group (SOG) was
established to provide a well trained, self-sufficient, mobile group of
deputies capable of responding anywhere within a few hours.
1973 Marshals and FBI agents contained the uprising at
Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
1979 The USMS assumed the responsibility for the
apprehension of federal fugitives.
1981 The first of the Fugitive Investigation Strike Team
(FIST) operations was established to operate as a multi-agency taskforce
to apprehend federal, state, and local fugitives.
1985 U.S. Marshals assumed the responsibility for managing
and disposing of properties seized and forfeited by federal law
enforcement agencies and U.S. Attorneys nationwide.
U.S. Marshals assumed the responsibility for the
Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), which merged
the air fleets of the Marshals Service and the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS). In addition, as a result of the bombings
and threats against abortion clinic, U.S. Marshals were responsible for
protecting the clinics and doctors.
U.S. Marshals provided security for the Timothy
McVeigh and Terry Nichols trials, convicted of bombing the Alfred P.
Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
U.S. Marshals established a foreign investigative
presence in the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, Mexico, with the assignment
of two criminal investigators.
1999 U.S. Marshals signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with the U.S. Customs giving the USMS responsibility to investigate the
majority of their fugitive warrants.