A Look Inside the Exhibit - Text Version

Wall of Spies: The Evolution of Espionage in America


The Wall of Spies provides detailed accounts of more than 135 spies who betrayed America from the Revolutionary War to the 21st Century. While not a full accounting of every traitor to America during this period, the wall provides key insights into their motivations and tradecraft. As we make way for the digital version of the Wall of Spies here on Intelligence.gov, we plan to expand the exhibit further, to include stories beyond what could be accommodated by the physical installation. Here's a look "inside" the exhibit.

What is a Spy?

For the purposes of the Wall of Spies Experience, a spies are:

  • Americans who betrayed their country for monetary,politcal or other reasons
  • Foreign nationals who came to the United States to infiltrae government and industry, or commit acts of sabotage

135 Spies are Featured

119 men, 16 women U.S. spies

Tied to: Russia (81), China (9), Cuba (3), Germany/NAZI East Germany, Other (28)

Native Country: 47 foreign, 88, American

Soviet Medals Awarded to U.S. Spies

  • 8 Order of the Red Banner
  • 2 Order of Lenin
  • 3 Hero of the Russian Federation
  • 2 Order of the Red Star

Million Dollar Club

  • Larry Chin (committed suicide)
  • John Walker (life in prison)
  • Clyde Conrad (life in prison)
  • Robert Hansen (life in prison)
  • Aldrich Ames (life in prison)

Age of Spies

From under 20 years old to over 50.

Earliest Spy: Benjamin Church, begna in 1772

Youngest Spy: Ted Hall, 19 years old

Did You Know?

The Manhattan Project, the most closely-guarded enterprise of World War 2 employed a number of American and British scientists who shared atomic secrets with the Soviets.

How the Wall Stacks Up 

  • 50 spy artifacts on loan from CIA< FBI, NSA and others
  • 38 spy sites indentified in maps of New York City and Washington DC
  • 120 books on espionage and sobtage in the U.S.
  • archive flim clips of key espionage events in U.S. history
  • 6 members of the Soviet Wall of Shame
  • 192 images
  • 136 photographs
  • 39 documents
  • 7 headlines
  • 6 maps
  • 193 vignetttes
  • 149 individuals
  • 36,692 words

More About the Wall of Spies Experience: