The Truth About Fort Knox
Learn all about America's secretive gold depository.
Gold! There’s gold in there… those very secure buildings. Spread around the country are a few buildings that house almost all the gold in the United States. Well, the gold that isn't in the ground. The most famous of the gold depositories is Fort Knox. About 60% of the US gold reserve resides in Fort Knox. Here are some interesting facts about the world’s largest gold deposit.
Don’t bother going. Despite that it is easily seen from the freeway, you can’t visit Fort Knox. You can visit other sites where the US stores gold, like the Denver Mint. Only a handful of times have outsiders been allowed inside. In fact, only one President has ever been inside, Franklin Roosevelt. He was President when the depository was established.
Don’t bother knocking. Even if you were to get in, the main vault door is 21 inches thick and weighs over 20 tons. On top of that, no one knows the entire combination.
More than gold. Although it was built to hold gold, Fort Knox has held some other valuables. During WWII, original copies of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights were held at Fort Knox. At the same time, the Magna Carta from England and the Holy Crown of Hungary were shipped to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
Don’t try to break in. Not that backup is needed with that impenetrable door, Fort Knox has its own police force. The United States Mint Police handles guarding the gold depository. They are the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country. If you did try and break-in, the US Army is also located next door. Meaning if you got in the front gates, you’d have thousands of soldiers waiting for you to come back out.
Check the mail. The first gold sent to Fort Knox was mailed there using the United States Postal Service. The gold was loaded onto USPS train cars and shipped from other locations to Fort Knox.
It is useless. More accurately, it’s not used for anything. Back when Fort Knox was established, US money was backed by gold. However, in 1971, the government removed the gold standard forever. The gold in Fort Knox that used to back every dollar now serves to show the stability of the Federal government.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories floating around about Fort Knox. Everything from the theory that the gold is all missing to ideas about aliens. With a recent visit from the Secretary of the Treasury, it seems the gold is all still there. That doesn’t mean dreaming up stories about the mysterious building isn't fun. But in the end, it really is just a giant piggy bank.