Exhibit Celebrates 225th Anniversary of U.S. Customs Service

A collage of images with a red border including a parrot, watch, framed photo, and the words, US Customs Service and the Golden Gate.

U.S. Customs Museum Foundation/NPS

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News Release Date: July 17, 2014

Contact: Robert E. Murtagh, 925-239-6116

Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

What: “Customs Service and the Golden Gate,” a new exhibit of artifacts, photographs, and video, on the history of the U.S. Customs Service and its national and global influence.

When: July 30 through December 31, 2014

Where: In the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, 900 Beach Street, foot of Polk Street, San Francisco.

Hours and admission: Open daily, 10am-4pm. Free admission. Wheelchair accessible. 

Public information: 415-447-5000. www.nps.gov/safr/ and www.customsmuseum.org

The national U.S. Customs Museum Foundation is celebrating the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Customs Service with a new exhibit “Customs Service and the Golden Gate,” opening at the Maritime Museum on July 30 through December 31, 2014.

For centuries the U.S. Customs Service was the most prominent federal law enforcement agency in the nation and played an important role in America’s growth. U.S. Customs Service Bay Area history includes acts of heroism during the chaos of the Gold Rush, enforcing shameful 19th century immigration laws, battling the raging fire following the Great Earthquake of 1906, and protecting California’s coasts and borders to the present day. Displays on intercepting smuggling devices, the dangers of counterfeit products, and the importance of preventing human trafficking showcase the agency’s national and global influence. The U.S. Custom Service’s history – illustrated with first-person accounts, photographs, artifacts, and video – tells the story of the agency’s role in developing the nation’s critical infrastructure and character, as well as the importance of collaboration among international customs agencies. 

“Having collected artifacts, documents, and images from current and retired Customs Officers, we are excited to tell Customs’ story to a new generation,” said Robert Murtagh, the Foundation’s President. “Without the dedication of Customs Officers, the United States would not be the magnificent country it is today – we want everyone to understand that story.” Today, the U.S. Customs Service is Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security. Join us in celebrating this 225 year legacy!


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Aquatic Park Historic District, and Maritime Research Center.


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Last updated: March 1, 2015

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