The iconic James Bond movie Goldfinger included scenes of gold stored in Fort Knox’s United States Bullion Depository. Although the movie crew did shoot in the area, they didn’t gain access to the actual depository, which remains super secret and protected with ultra-high security.
Why does the United States have a gold vault? During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered gold out of circulation, and private citizens had to sell their gold to the U.S. government. A new depository was needed—preferably away East Coast cities thought to be vulnerable to attack.
The Fort Knox depository opened in 1937. Besides gold, the depository has also stored priceless documents like the Declaration of Independence and even the Magna Carta. Not all of the U.S. gold is stored here; gold is also stored at the mints in Philadelphia and Denver, at the West Point Bullion Depository, and at the San Francisco Assay Office.
The two-story building here is constructed of granite, steel, and concrete. The vault inside is made of steel and encased in concrete; the door to the vault weighs more than 20 tons.
Fort Knox historian Paul Urbahns and former vault employee Doug Simmons share captivating inside stories about the depository’s history and significance.
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