Our History at 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
The FTC established its headquarters at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., with President Franklin D. Roosevelt laying the cornerstone himself.
Roosevelt remarked, “May this permanent home of the Federal Trade Commission stand for all time as a symbol of the purpose of the government to insist on a greater application of the golden rule to conduct the corporation and business enterprises in their relationship to the body politic.” Listen to FDR’s speech.
The building which is particularly known for its two art deco style statues, called “ Man Controlling Trade,” is located at the apex of the Federal Triangle, and was the culmination of the massive Depression-era government building project. Commissioners and staff officially moved in on April 21, 1938, and the building continues to function as the FTC’s headquarters, serving the agency’s adjudicative, executive, policy, and administrative functions.
FTC’s History Timeline
The FTC’s mission of protecting America’s consumers has culminated in almost 100 years of service. Walk through the FTC’s history using this interactive timeline. And remember to come back and visit ftc.gov as information is added periodically.
The FTC at 90: Symposium
President Woodrow Wilson signed the FTC Act into law on September 26, 1914. To celebrate its 90th anniversary, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a public symposium on September 22-23, 2004, in Washington, DC. The symposium featured panel discussions covering a broad range of topics relevant to the Commission's past, present and future. A detailed agenda of the panel topics and speakers, with links to some working papers prepared for the symposium, is available. The program brochure contains a short history of the FTC, a note on the FTC Building, and an FTC Quiz."
The Bureau of Corporations at 100
Under legislation sought by President Theodore Roosevelt, the FTC's predecessor, the Bureau of Corporations, was created on February 14, 1903.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of that event, the Bureau of Economics held a roundtable on September 4, 2003. The focus of the roundtable was the contributions of economics and of the Bureau of Economics to the Commission's mission and to economic policy generally over the past several decades. The Bureau of Economics was featured because the original functions of the Bureau of Corporations were to collect information, to conduct industry and policy research, and to prepare reports at the request of Congress and the President. Participants in the roundtable included FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris, former FTC Chairman and OMB Director James C. Miller III, and BE Directors from the 1950s to the present. More information about the roundtable, including a transcript, is available.
The Origins of the FTC: Concentration, Cooperation, Control and Competition
Marc Winerman, reprinted from 71 Antitrust Law Journal 1 (2003) [PDF 510K]
Outpost Years for a Start-up Agency: The FTC from 1921-1925
Marc Winerman and William E. Kovacic, reprinted from 77 Antitrust Law Journal 145 (2010)
The William Humphrey and Abram Myers Years: The FTC from 1925-1929
Marc Winerman and William E. Kovacic, reprinted from 77 Antitrust Law Journal 701 (2011)