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- Although not known as the FBI
at the time, the agency was originated in 1908. This was due to
Attorney General Charles Bonaparte who directed that Department of
Justice investigations be handled by a small group of special
investigators. It was given the name "Bureau of Investigation" in
- From 1908 to 1924,
the group grew gradually. The World War I Selective Service Act
and espionage laws brought new duties. As did the National Motor
Vehicle Theft Act of 1919. This bill curbed the transportation of
stolen automobiles from state to state.
- It was in 1924 that
Attorney General Harlan F. Stone appointed 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover
as Director of the Bureau. Hoover's name is almost synonymous
with F.B.I. and even today he is still the most famous Director the
Bureau has ever had. Harlan Stone, by the way, would later become
Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
- As J. Edgar Hoover
saw it, the organization was going to be a career service in which
ability and good character were to be the requirements for appointment,
and performance and achievement the sole basis for promotion.