Federal Security Agency
The Federal Security Agency (FSA) was an independent agency of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...

 established in 1939 pursuant to the "Reorganization Act of 1939" (P.L. 19, 76th Cong., 1st sess.). For a time, the agency administered the Social Security
Social Security (United States)
In the United States, Social Security refers to the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program.The original Social Security Act and the current version of the Act, as amended encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs...

 old-age pension plan, oversaw food and drug safety, administered public health programs, and federal education funding.

The Reorganization Act of 1939
Reorganization Act of 1939
The Reorganization Act of 1939, Pub. L. No. 76-19, 53 Stat. 561, 5 USC 133 , is an American Act of Congress which became law on April 3, 1939, and which gave the President of the United States the authority to hire additional confidential staff and reorganize the executive branch for two years...

 authorized the president of the United States to devise a plan to reorganize the executive branch of government. Pursuant to the Act, President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 issued "Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1939" on April 25, 1939. The reorganization plan was designed to reduce the number of agencies reporting directly to the president.

The reorganization plan created the cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

-level Federal Security Agency. Included in the FSA was the Social Security Board, the U.S. Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

, the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

, the Office of Education (later the United States Department of Education
United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...

), the National Youth Administration
National Youth Administration
The National Youth Administration was a New Deal agency in the United States that focused on providing work and education for Americans between the ages of 16 and 24. It operated from 1935 to 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration . Following the passage of the Reorganization Act of...

 and a number of other agencies. Its first director was Paul V. McNutt
Paul V. McNutt
Paul Vories McNutt was an American politician who served as the 34th Governor of Indiana during the Great Depression, high commissioner to the Philippines, administrator of the Federal Security Agency, chairman of the War Manpower Commission and ambassador to the Philippines.-Family and...

. Secretly, the FSA was also a cover agency from 1942 to 1944 for the War Research Service
War Research Service
The War Research Service was a civilian agency of the United States government established during World War II to pursue research relating to biological warfare. Established in May 1942 by Secretary of War Henry L...

, a secret program to develop chemical
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 and biological weapons
Biological warfare
Biological warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war...


President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 attempted to make the FSA a department of the federal government, but this legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 was defeated.

In 1949, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 enacted the "Reorganization Act of 1949" (5 U.S.C. 901). Subsequently, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 promulgated "Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953." The Federal Security Agency was abolished and most of its functions transferred to the newly formed United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).

External links

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