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OCC's 160th Anniversary

160th Anniversary

160 Years of Safeguarding Trust in Banking: 1863 - 2023

February 25, 2023, marks the 160th anniversary of the National Currency Act and the creation of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Established by President Abraham Lincoln and charged with organizing and administering a system of nationally chartered banks and a uniform national currency, the OCC has steadfastly served the American public for 160 years by ensuring the federal banking system is safe and sound, provides fair access to financial services, treats customers fairly, and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

  • 160th Anniversary Celebration

    Photo of OCC blue seal

    In commemoration of its 160th anniversary, the OCC hosted a special celebration on March 2, 2023. The event featured panel discussions with former Comptrollers and Acting Comptrollers of the Currency as well as some of the OCC’s longest-tenured employees.

Historical Exhibits

The OCC also developed historical exhibits to trace its early history managing the nation’s currency between 1863 and 1929, and to chronicle the evolution of the agency’s supervisory approach in response to sweeping changes in laws, financial downturns, and technological developments.

160th Anniversary Historical Highlight Videos

Comptroller and Acting Comptroller Reflections

Comptrollers and Acting Comptrollers reflect on their time at the OCC and the importance of the agency’s mission to ensure banks operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access, and treat customers fairly.

OCC Through the Decades

Historical highlights showcase how the OCC evolved over its 160-year history.

OCC’s Early Employees – Safeguarding Trust Since 1863

OCC staff have carefully reviewed and catalogued historical records to compile information about the OCC’s first commissioned examiners, the duty locations of OCC’s early examiners, and the OCC staff who served in our DC headquarters. Please visit the below dashboards for these details of our history.

  • Examiner Commissions: 1898 - 1927

    Examiner Commissions: 1898 - 1927

    The official records of each OCC examiner’s commission between 1898 and 1927 were compiled into historical documents and are reflected on this dashboard. Some examiners only served a year, while others served much longer. For many, the commission document was a tremendous source of pride.

  • Bank Examiner Duty Locations: 1867-1931

    Bank Examiner Duty Locations: 1867-1931

    Between 1867 and 1931, OCC bank examiner duty location assignments were documented in a regularly-issued government-wide survey known as the Official Register of the United States as well as the annual Comptroller’s Report to Congress. Examiner territories were expansive, so they traveled greatly during this time period, with many examiners navigating across state lines by train, buggy, horses, and sleds in snowy Alaska.

  • Headquarters Employees: 1863-1941

    Headquarters Employees: 1863-1941

    From 1863 to 1941, OCC’s headquarters office employed some 1,200 men and women on the second floor of the U.S. Department of the Treasury building, next to the White House in Washington D.C. During this time, the headquarters staff grew from eight employees to more than 200 in the early 1900s. While most workers were clerks, all early headquarters employee names, job titles and salaries are reflected in this dashboard.