However, these facts may become outdated after publication and seeking the latest information is advised. The U.S postal system was officially established on July 26, 1775 and has been an integral part of American society ever since. 10. The Postal Service has 100 hybrid 2-ton vehicles. Franklin (1706-1790) put … Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s presidency (1801-1809), it became a tradition—albeit an unethical one—for the winning candidate to fire a significant swath of federal employees and replace them with party loyalists. Did you know we don’t use your tax dollars for our operations? It’s changed quite a bit over the years—did you know the USPS didn’t officially deliver mail to homes until the Civil War? Advertisement - story continues below Fact 9: In spite of this, the USPS lost $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2017. Today, it is not, it goes by the much less dramatic name “Mail Recovery Center,” and it is located in Atlanta. 3. Postage stamps—which were prepaid—were introduced in America in 1847 and eliminated this problem. The Smithsonian still possesses the original packaging with the postmarks, and although it is not on display, the Hope Diamond is. The post office was in the Articles of Confederation, too. A uniquely American history. However, the position (and the … © 2016-2021 United States Postal Service. Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. We hope you enjoy exploring our rich history. Scrappy riders—“orphans preferred,” a help-wanted ad stated—ferried letters from St. Joseph, Missouri, to San Francisco, galloping through the Great Plains, the Rockies, and the High Sierras. The truth is, postal history is educational, fun, and even humorous. The USPS also uses postal boats. It creates an app-like icon that will take you directly to the site. Learn more. Zero tax dollars used. True, the Postmaster General was last in line, but that still put him or her a heartbeat, or dozen, away. The history of the U.S. However, the system has certainly experienced many changes since the colonial days, with the official United States Postal Service (USPS) being created in 1971. In 2019, usps.com recorded 2.6 billion visits -- averaging 7.1 million visitors each day. Visit about.usps.com for more information. The facts in this publication may be reproduced for the purpose of stating the fact itself, and in a business, informational, academic context and the like, and in the body of text discussing factual subject matter relevant to the fact being presented. As a result, people tended to refuse so many letters in order to escape paying for them, which caused the post office to spend an inordinate amount of time returning mail to senders. It arrived safely at his destination. Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. But do you know exactly how much we deliver? There's a Post Office on your phone. The Postal Service processes and delivers 472.1 million mail pieces each day. Postal employees regularly go beyond the call of duty to protect the lives of customers they serve, including older and disabled customers through the Carrier Alert Program. Postal Service is an integral part of communication and delivery. We recommend our users to update the browser. In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. The first post office was in a bar. The first post office was in a bar. The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. The history of postal service of the United States began with the delivery of stampless letters, whose cost was borne by the receiving person, later also encompassed pre-paid letters carried by private mail carriers and provisional post offices, and culminated in a system of universal prepayment that required all letters to bear nationally issued adhesive postage stamps. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a 45-foot mail boat, the J.W. This meant workers waited and waited or circled back over and over again until their target, er, customer, came home. Postal Service is a rich one, dating back to Colonial America, when a bar served as the first “post office,” serving as the pick-up point for mail that arrived from overseas. American newspapers largely owe their existence to the post office. The history of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Postal Service has no official motto. Congress soon reconsidered, and in 1799, stealing mail for first-time offenders was punishable by a public whipping and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. (Source: Postal Museum) If you liked those fun facts, find more in USPS’s printable history booklet. It's one of the most frequently visited government sites. The cost of registered first-class postage was $2.44 (around $15.80 today); plus, Winston paid an additional $142.05 (roughly $917 today) to insure it for $1 million. 11. From 1914 to 1920, the Farm-to-Table program was a novel initiative that allowed farmers to arrange prices with people in urban areas and then mail them their choice of ham, bacon, fresh meats, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, nuts, maple syrup, honey, jellies, preserves, fruits, and vegetables. U.S. Supreme Court Justice. What’s more, Civil War veterans got dibs on applying for the newly-created mail carrier jobs. Did you know we have programs designed to help the communities we serve? This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks. Postal System is seen at the U.S. National Postal Museum Sept. 27, 2013, in Washington, D.C. PAUL J. RICHARDS/Getty Images In colonial times, mail was … In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. This, at least, was one form of corruption that he could not take. The financial woes of the U.S. Because the U.S. mail was the only official way to send money, this severe punishment was less a reflection of the government’s cruelty and more an indication of the importance of safe postal delivery. However, second offenders were still subject to death, which was unchanged until 1872. Many people believe that the U.S. mail’s motto is this phrase: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Yes, it’s true that those are the words engraved on the front of New York City’s majestic 1912 James A. Farley Post Office, but they were taken from a 5th-century, BC, book by the Persian historian Herodotus. This was the only place in America where people who weren’t a letter’s intended recipients were allowed to open up someone else’s mail. Here’s how the U.S. government really spends your tax dollars. Our communications network supports and maintains more than 147,000 desktop computers, 31,000 notebook computers, 86,000 printers, 23,000 smartphones, 250,000 phone lines and 310,000 handheld scanners. More than 1.6 billion stamps have been sold. 1. Postal Service has a lot going on. Postal Service's importance has grown throughout its history, and the way mail has been delivered over the years has evolved since its conception in the late 18th century. And what does the “ZIP” in ZIP Code mean anyway? That said, there are a shocking number of truly interesting facts about the postal service that will make you view it in a totally different way. Using a borrowed $100 as their initial capital, they set up shop in a cellar beneath Ryan’s uncle’s tavern. The postal employees hired for this job needed to be honest—to prevent pilfering of all the mail they had access to—and because women were seen back then as being more honest than men, the staff overwhelmingly consisted of women. The Founding Fathers were all for a postal system, especially Franklin. Learn more. 16. Then, when Andrew Jackson was elected to the Oval Office in 1828, he went further and tied this political perk to the postal service, which at the time accounted for 75 percent of all civilian federal employees. UPS traces its history to 1907, when the American Messenger Company was started in Seattle by 19-year-old James E. Casey and another teenager, Claude Ryan. The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states. It was never part of the U.S. We take a look at some fun facts about the U.S. 25 In 1966, the Chicago Post Office, the largest post office at the time, came to a startling halt when 10 million pieces of mail became log-jammed. We’ll keep you posted. 4. The USPS has a long and proud history, earning a solid reputation and respect for its standards and professionalism, and it shouldn’t be any other way. There are electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles in the fleet as well. With all the news surrounding the USPS, it’s time to brush up on these facts about the history of the U.S. post office. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member. pink?). ... Information from USPS' The United States Postal Service: An American History. Heroes. The Postal Service operates a fleet of 40,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles, most of which are equipped to use ethanol. USPS is experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19. In 1863, Free City Delivery—i.e., free delivery of mail at your home—was first launched in Cleveland. Postal Service has a lot going on. Even in the age of the internet, mail is an important communication tool for business and personal matters. Affordability. Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general Postal Service is rooted in the start of the country. His annual salary was $1,000. With a function as straightforward as delivering the mail, you wouldn’t think the USPS would have so many interesting and unexpected facts. In 2019 Postal Inspectors reported 5,759 arrests and 4,995 convictions related to postal crimes, primarily those involving mail theft, mail fraud and prohibited mailings. Starting in 1825, all mail that was unlabeled, mislabeled, or insufficiently labeled in America was sent to a central Dead Letter Office in Washington, D.C. And consider this very important fact: everyone in the U.S. and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp regardless of location. They refer not to America’s stalwart men and women in blue but to messengers in the ancient Persian Empire (who wore … purple? He made it customary for the new president to fire many of the postal workers and hand out the positions to supporters. Your mailman used to be able to bring you greens, eggs, and ham. The U.S. The Pony Express was in operation only from April 3, 1860, to Oct. 26, 1861. Learn more, With Informed Delivery service, you can digitally preview your incoming mail and manage your packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. Learn more. Westcott II, … In fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service recognized 232 heroic employees. Learn more, All heart. The job was viewed as so critical to a young United States that John McLean, Postmaster General from 1823 to 1829, reported directly to President James Monroe and then to President John Quincy Adams. Although it has always been strictly against postal regulations, there have … We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Box up my baby, please. The United States Postal Service first began moving the mail on July 26, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress named Benjamin Franklin as the nation's first Postmaster General. A uniquely American history. 7. In 2019, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store on usps.com -- the official online Post Office -- totaled $301 million. There's a special postmark for Supai's outgoing mail, so you'll know your mail was carried by mules. Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Want even more information about the United States Postal Service? Franklin (1706-1790) put … 2. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Postal Facts is a great place to learn about where we’ve been and where we’re going. In 2019 the Postal Service app -- USPS Mobile -- was downloaded more than 2.1 million times from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The very first post office in colonial America was established in … The Postmaster General was finally removed from the Cabinet and from succession in 1971. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. In the more than two centuries since Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775, the Postal Service™ has grown and changed with America, boldly embracing new technologies to better serve a growing population. Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, Walmart®. For years, the DLO was a popular tourist destination. The USPS is one of the oldest fixtures of our American history. 1775 - Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress 1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued 1855 - Prepayment of postage required 1860 - Pony Express began 1863 - Free city delivery began 1873 - U.S. postal cards issued 1874 - General Postal Union (now Universal Postal Union) established 1893 - First commemorative stamps issued 1896 - Rural free delivery began How’s this for a bizarre post office fact—people used to be able to ship babies through the US Postal Service! Box™, Post Office®, Pony Express®, Postal Inspection Service™, PostalOne!®, Postal Police®, PostalProud®, Express International®, Priority Mail Flat Rate®, Priority Mail International®, Priority: You®, Registered Mail™, Standard Mail®, The Postal Store®, United States Postal Inspection Service®, United States Postal Service®, U.S. Mail®, U.S. Enter your email. Mail carriers should have been called mail waiters. You know we deliver for America. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. 1. As part of the Post Office Act of 1792, newspapers—which were seen by the Founding Fathers as essential for maintaining an educated citizenry by spreading information—were permitted to be mailed at extremely low rates. We appreciate your patience and remain committed to … His annual salary was $1,000. One other postal innovation prompted by the Civil War: money orders, so that Union soldiers could send their money home safely. The two most popular Farm-to-Table products? The mules carry mail, food and supplies down an 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. These cards featured a male or female caricature of popular stereotypes like a miser or a spinster, and the drawing was accompanied by mean-spirited verse. Postal Service is a rich one, dating back to Colonial America, when a bar served as the first “post office,” serving as the pick-up point for mail that arrived from overseas. Our history goes all the way back to the founding of the nation. With Package Pickup, you can go online to request Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail packages be picked up at your home or offices as part of your mail carrier’s regular route — for free. For a refresher course, journey through its 245-year history told through old photos and philatelic facts. 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