The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. Before the new central bank could begin operations, the Reserve Bank Organization Committee, consisting of Treasury Secretary William McAdoo, Secretary of Agriculture David Houston, and Comptroller of the Currency John Skelton Williams, had the task of building a working institution from the basic framework of the new law. Twelve cities, including St. Louis, were chosen as the locations for the regional Reserve Banks and district lines were drawn. On November 16, 1914, the Reserve Banks opened for business.

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.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

Explore 100 years of the Bank's historical materials with our timeline, essays, images, and other media.