FBI Jackson Celebrates the FBI’s 110th Birthday
On July 26, 2018, the FBI celebrates 110 years of public service. In honor of this milestone, we reflect on our history and look forward to the future of the organization. At FBI Jackson, FBI Headquarters, and across all field offices, we are highlighting the FBI’s history and recognizing the people and work of the FBI.
Much has changed since the FBI was established, but many critical attributes remain the same. The Bureau now operates in a digital world where crime not only crosses state lines, but also international borders—in the blink of an eye. However, our best traditions have not changed: our rigorous adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law, and the guiding principles in our motto of Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.
FBI Inspector W.H. Drane Lester coined Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity in a 1935 memo to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, shortly after the Bureau’s name was changed from Division of Investigation to Federal Bureau of Investigation. The new motto was incorporated into the new FBI seal in 1935, which prevails today, more than 80 years later. Lester, a Batesville, Mississippi native was a graduate and Rhodes Scholar at the University of Mississippi.
The FBI Jackson Field Office was opened in May 1941, as the Bureau’s responsibilities expanded following the outbreak of World War II. Due to budget cuts after the war ended, the Jackson Division was closed and its caseload was divided between the FBI’s New Orleans and Memphis Divisions.
Two high-profile cases in the early 1960s led to the reopening of the Jackson Field Office – the assassination of Medgar Evers and the disappearance of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman. President Lyndon Johnson told Director Hoover that the FBI should have a stronger official presence in Mississippi. On July 10, 1964, Director Hoover attended the re-opening of the Jackson Division. The office has operated continuously since the reopening in 1964.
“The Jackson Division has a strong and storied history in Mississippi,” said Christopher Freeze, special agent in charge of the Jackson Division. “The facility we operate out of today was named for the three civil rights workers killed in 1964 and the special agent in charge at the time, Roy K. Moore. Our priorities remain the same today as they were in 1964—protect the American people and uphold the constitution of the United States.”
The FBI was established on July 26, 1908, by Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte with just 34 special agents and was officially named the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The FBI has grown to nearly 37,000 employees, including more than 13,500 special agents and more than 22,800 professional staff employees in 56 field offices, more than 400 resident agencies, and 90 legal attaché offices and sub-offices worldwide.
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