The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. The system is composed of a central, independent governmental agency--the Board of Governors--in Washington, D.C., and 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in major cities throughout the nation. Today, the Federal Reserve sets the nation's monetary policy, supervises and regulates banking institutions, maintains the stability of the financial system, and provides financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.
Fed History Web Gateway
The Federal Reserve's External LinkHistory Web Gateway is an online resource with biographies, images, and essays on key events in the Fed's 100-year history. The External LinkHistory Web Gateway offers students, educators, researchers, and others information about the founding of the Fed and its purpose, more than 230 biographies of key individuals, essays on major events in the Fed's history, and access to various Fed archives.
Federal Reserve Centennial Lessons
These classroom-ready lessons help high school students understand Fed history, Fed functions, and how the roles of the Fed have evolved over time. All the lessons are tied to the Common Core and national content standards in social studies and economics. Two of the lessons are also accompanied by PowerPoint slides.
- Lesson 1 - PDFDefining Moments in Federal Reserve System History: 1907-1935
- Lesson 2 - PDFThe Federal Reserve System Shuffle: 1945-1987|PowerPoint SlideshowPowerPoint Slides
- Lesson 3 - PDFThe Modern Federal Reserve System: Changes and Trends in Federal Reserve Functions | PowerPoint SlideshowPowerPoint Slides
- PDFLessons Combined
The Federal Reserve System has an External Linkinventory of historical Federal Reserve documents and items. The inventory of historical materials enhances transparency through improved web access to records of the Federal Reserve's past and is a resource for researchers, academics, and others interested in studying the history of the nation's central bank.