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.
Additional photographs and other media documenting the history of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis are available in an archival collection.
In December of 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis launched an online hub of the latest news and developments regarding what would become known as the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009. The site provided a detailed and up-to-date timeline of key events and actions surrounding the crisis. The timeline has been reproduced here for preservation. Additional documents, collections, and supporting resources regarding the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 can be found in the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 theme.
The Chair is the active executive officer of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Prior to the enactment of the Banking Act of 1935, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System was known as the Federal Reserve Board, the active executive officer of the Federal Reserve Board was known as Governor, and the Secretary of the Treasury held the title of Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
In response to the U.S. entry into World War II, the Federal Reserve committed itself to maintaining an interest rate of ⅜ percent on Treasury bills. After the war ended, the Federal Reserve wanted to move off of this interest rate peg.
This timeline provides insight into the events after World War II that led to the 1951 Accord between the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System. These events outline the Fed's goal to be independent from the Treasury as well as the country's struggle with rising inflation. For more resources and further documentation, explore the FRASER subject Treasury and Federal Reserve Accord, 1951 and articles from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Allan Sproul at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.