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U.S. Marshals Service


Forgint the Star Book coverForging the Star - It’s bound to inform and surprise! After a decade of research, writing, and editing, the official modern history of the U.S. Marshals is now available! See this link for more information about Forging the Star.





First 15 Most Wanted draftIntroduction to the 225th Virtual Artifact Vault File - Nothing explains our agency greater than the historic object. As part of the yearlong celebration of our 225th anniversary, the U.S. Marshals will feature a virtual historical artifact, document, or account to educate both internal and external audiences. We “open the vault” to better define our many missions throughout the long trail of our storied history. The age of the object will vary, as will it’s story. Read More



A Twelve-Year Retrospective: The Day, and the Photograph, That Changed Us - It has been twelve years since the day that changed us. By “us,” which could be expanded to include the country or globe, but it certainly changed the U.S. Marshals Service. The September 11, 2001 tragedies at the Pentagon, New York City, and rural Pennsylvania are regularly observed in many ways—always with sadness with the enormity of the loss of life and institutions. These events had many heroes, and their efforts are saluted. A display case used to appear in the lobby of our headquarters. It highlighted the anniversary date and various artifacts from the ruins. However, it is also the reminder of the many hands within our agency that healed after these tragedies.  Read More

We Were There: The U.S. Marshals Role at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Washington, D.C. March - Although the U.S. Marshals are often linked with civil rights, most recall our crucial role in desegregating educational institutions in the South during the 1960s. In reality, our personnel sometimes stayed “behind the scenes” to ensure an event went smoothly. This is what occurred on August 28, 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King led the Washington March for Jobs and Freedom.  Read More

Medina’s Thirty-Year Echo: Honoring the Memory of Our Fallen - Certain tragic moments in Marshals Service history bear thoughtful reflection. We memorialize all of our official line-of-duty deaths. The unfortunate reality holds that USMS personnel face daily dangers going after the “worst of the worst” fugitives. This truth resonates brightly in our heritage. There are recent remembrances of anniversaries marking the deaths of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller and Senior Inspector John Perry. Both brave men were gunned down on missions against armed fugitives.  Read More

Remembering William Degan Twenty Years Later - On August 21, 1992, Deputy U.S. Marshal William F. Degan was killed in a firefight in a remote area of Northern Idaho known as “Ruby Ridge.” Although the location is usually associated with a series of tragic events involving law enforcement operations, and the underlying sentiment towards them, there was a very real loss in our agency that was often overshadowed in the headlines and hearings.  Read More

Deputy U.S. Marshals - Oxford MississippiEven after the creation of more than 50 specialized federal law enforcement agencies during the 20th century, our personnel retained the broadest jurisdiction and authority. For more than 200 years, U.S. Marshals and their deputies have served as the instruments of civil authority used by all three branches of the federal government. Marshals have been involved in most of the major historical episodes in America's past.
The history of the Marshals is, quite simply, the story of how the American people govern themselves.

This section of the web site not only portrays, in words and pictures, the modern U.S. Marshals Service, but it also recounts many of the organization's highlights from the history of the U.S. Marshals; a span of history that is unique in American law enforcement.

The Marshals Service looks back on a proud heritage - a tradition spanning two centuries of service to America and dedication to the principles of our Constitution and the rule of law.

As our young nation expanded westward, U.S. Marshals embodied the civilian power of the federal government to bring law and justice to the frontier. For every new territory, U.S. marshals were appointed to impose the law on the untamed wilderness. Virtually every significant point over the years where constitutional principles or the force of law have been challenged, the marshals were there - and they prevailed.

The challenges faced today by U.S. marshals and their deputies are no less demanding than those of the past. In fact, the skills, devotion and determination required to carry out our contemporary responsibilities make the modern U.S. marshals Service a unique and elite cadre of law enforcement professionals. And so, in looking back over our history, we hope that you recognize and take pride in the fact that this agency is an intimate part of the continuum of the grand American experiment in self-government.

Significant Historical Events and Interesting Articles


1900's is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice