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Federal Reserve System


100 Years of Central Banking

centennial logoThe 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 Operating 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. By November 16, 1914, the 12 regional Reserve Banks were open 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.

Explore 100 Years of Fed History
The Federal Reserve System has launched the History Web Gateway to commemorate events in the Fed's 100-year history. Explore this new online resource.

Federal Reserve System Centennial Advisory Council
Former Federal Reserve Chairmen Paul A. Volcker and Alan Greenspan are serving as honorary co-chairs of a Centennial Advisory Council along with 24 other individuals representing a range of private and public sector organizations. A list of members is available on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors' website.

Frequently Asked Questions
Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Centennial commemoration and the inventory of historical collections are available here.