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Rights and Freedoms: FBI

Year 10 Mandatory History

Britannica Online


Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), principal investigative agency of the federal government of the United States. The bureau is responsible for conducting investigations in cases where federal laws may have been violated, unless another agency of the federal government has been specifically delegated that duty by statute or executive fiat.


Given its 109-year history, the FBI has seen many scandals and numerous directors come and go. Its directors, in fact, have always been the face and driving force of the FBI.


The FBI in its own words is a national security organisation that works to address the most serious security threats facing the US. Let's take a look at its history.

Presents the history of the FBI from 1908 including the new Hoover Building and modern training academy at Quantico, Virginia. Shows 1932 newsreels to demonstrate accomplishments in stopping criminal activities such as espionage, sabotage, organized crime, bombings, police killings, and other challenges met by FBI. Director Clarence Kelley introduces the film.



On July 26, 1908, a “force of special agents” was created to conduct investigations for the Department of Justice. It marked the official beginning of what would formally become the Federal Bureau of Investigation—the FBI—27 years later on July 1, 1935.




The FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation, is the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Justice and the nation’s primary investigative and domestic intelligence agency. First established in 1908, the FBI has often been criticized for violating the civil rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens, even as its role expanded to include domestic and international terrorism.