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The FBI has been around since 1908. In that time, it has changed names three times, and grown from under 40 employees to almost 30,000! Follow the historical time-line to learn more about important dates in FBI History. When you click on a link the new page will open in a seperate window. To return to this page, just close the new window.

1908 At the request of President Theodore Roosevelt, an investigative branch of the Department of Justice was created. It was headed by Chief Examiner Stanley Finch.
1913 A. Bruce Bielaski succeeded Stanley Finch as Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.
June 1917 J. Edgar Hoover began working with the Department of Justice legal staff.
January 1920 Prohibition began. Gangsterism began its rise in the United States.
August 1921 William J. Burns was appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation; J. Edgar Hoover was named Assistant Director. By 1924, there were 650 employees, including 441 Special Agents.
May 1924 J. Edgar Hoover was named Acting Director of the Bureau of Investigation.
October 1925 Edwin C. Shanahan became the first FBI Agent killed in the line of duty.
March 1929 Al Capone was arrested by Bureau Agents.
November 1932 The FBI Laboratory was established.
June 1933 The Bureau of Investigation became the Division of Investigation. The Kansas City Massacre occurred.
July 1934 John Dillinger was killed by Federal Agents in Chicago.
July 1935 The Division of Investigation became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
August 1940 The Disaster Squad was created when the FBI was called upon to identify its employees involved in an airplane crash in Virginia.
June 1942 Four German saboteurs landed from a U-Boat on Long Island. Four others landed in Florida. All eight were arrested by the FBI.
November 1944 Two Nazi spies - William C. Colepaugh and Erich Gimpel landed from a German submarine in Maine. They were arrested by the FBI.
March 1950 The FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" Program began.
September 1953 6-year old Bobby Greenlease, Jr. was kidnapped and murdered.
June 1957 FBI arrested Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet espionage agent. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but was later exchanged for U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.
November 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. President Johnson ordered the FBI to investigate.
June 1964 Three civil rights workers were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
July 4, 1966 President Johnson signed the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA).
January 1967 National Crime Information Center (NCIC) became operational.
June 1968 James Earl Ray was arrested in London. He was later convicted of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
May 1972 The new FBI Academy was opened on the United States Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.
July 1973 Clarence M. Kelley sworn in as FBI Director.
February 1978 William H. Webster sworn in as FBI Director.
April 1978 The use of laser technology to detect latent fingerprints was initiated.
1983 The Hostage Rescue Team became operational.
1984 National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) was established at the FBI Academy. A Computer Analysis and Response Team (CART) was established to help field offices retrieve computer evidence.
November 1987 William S. Sessions was sworn in as FBI Director. By 1988, the FBI employed 9,663 Special Agents and 13,651 support personnel.
1992 FBI Lab established its own Evidence Response Team (ERT).
September 1993 Louis J. Freeh was sworn in as FBI Director.
April 1994 The Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) was created to more effectively deal with hostage-taking and barricade situations.
September 1995 Announcement of an undercover investigation, "Innocent Images," which targeted child pornography over the Internet.
June 1997 Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City -- one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in American history.
May 1998 Eric Robert Rudolph was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List after being charged with the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta and the bombing of a Birmingham abortion clinic.
August 1998 Bombs were detonated near United States Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 223 people. Among the dead were twelve Americans and thirty-eight Foreign Service Nationals. The FBI sent representatives to East Africa to assist in the search, rescue, and investigative efforts.
June 1999 Osama Bin Laden was placed on the FBI's Ten Mosted Wanted List for his alleged involvement in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
September 1999 The FBI announced the ground breaking for its new Laboratory facility in Quantico, Virgina.
February 2001 Special Agent Robert P. Hanssen was arrested and charged with committing espionage.
September 2001 Robert S. Mueller III became the Director of the FBI.
September 2001 Terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
October 2001 The FBI and other agencies responded to anthrax-laden letters.
December 2001 Director Mueller announced a reorganization of FBI Headquarters to meet evolving challenges.


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