The Nation: The Last Marshal

In 1970 there were 40 hijackings on U.S. airlines; and to halt the illegal seizure of commercial aircraft, the Feder al Aviation Administration and the U.S. Customs Service in the same year initiated the sky-marshal program. Besides serving on the ground as plainclothes watchdogs, armed sky marshals wearing civilian clothes boarded commercial flights to thwart the would-be skyjacker.

At its peak in 1973, the sky-marshal program had 1,050 men flying selected U.S. routes. Last week the Department of Transportation, which has overseen the program since its inception, announced that the sky-marshal program has come to an end. The last sky marshal...

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