usps history facts

You can connect with us in many ways, including: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube. Postal Inspector™, U.S. The Postal Service processes and delivers 472.1 million mail pieces each day. Postal Service is rooted in the start of the country. The history of the U.S. 12. The result: By the start of the 19th century, newspapers made up the bulk of the U.S. mail. While the Pony Express did deliver mail, it was never part of the U.S. postal service. In 1958, New York City jeweler Harry Winston donated the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond—today, valued at $350 million—to the Smithsonian. The Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised more than $90 million for breast cancer research since 1998. Every day? Article IX said that the government “shall … In later years, he was viewed as a serious presidential candidate. Postal Service has a lot going on. For a refresher course, journey through its 245-year history told through old photos and philatelic facts. Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. Mail carriers should have been called mail waiters. U.S. Supreme Court Justice. This meant workers waited and waited or circled back over and over again until their target, er, customer, came home. The Postal Service has 100 hybrid 2-ton vehicles. 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. 1. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. 16. The very first post office in colonial America was established in 1639 in the Boston home—which was also a tavern that sold “stronge water”—of a man named Richard Fairbanks. For 141 years, getting a job at the U.S. postal system depended on one thing: connections. The USPS is one of the oldest fixtures of our American history. As a result, she—the current officeholder is Megan Brennan, the first woman in history to hold the job—out-earns the U.S. vice president, who makes $243,500. 7. On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. When using your mobile device to view Postal Facts, you can easily save the site to your device’s home screen. The U.S. The Postmaster General was once a semi-celebrity. They refer not to America’s stalwart men and women in blue but to messengers in the ancient Persian Empire (who wore … purple? In fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service recognized 232 heroic employees. Learn more. Share This Article BuzzFeed … 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. Although it has always been strictly against postal regulations, there have … Did you know we have programs designed to help the communities we serve? 9. Joseph Briggs, a postal clerk in that Ohio city, is said to have come up with the idea over the previous winter when he saw so many women customers who were forced to wait in long lines at the post office, freezing and fretting, since the only way to get news of their loved ones fighting in the war was via the mail. 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. Postal Facts helps tell the Postal Service’s story and helps you better understand how the organization delivers for the nation. More than 20 million customers have enrolled since it was launched in 2017. We’re proud to provide secure, reliable and affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in the United States, its territories and its military installations worldwide. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Early History of the U.S. 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. The U.S. president earns a base salary of $400,000 a year; the postmaster general gets a base salary of $276,840. The U.S. mail was the original enabler of trolls. 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. And what does the “ZIP” in ZIP Code mean anyway? When the Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, it went via U.S. mail. The Express was in business for a year and a half, from April 3, 1860, to October 24, 1861. Postal Service . But it’s not the boring business that delivers all those holiday gifts and goodies, letters from pen pals, medical supplies and prescriptions and other crucial items. His annual salary was $1,000. 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. Want even more information about the United States Postal Service? On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. In 2019, usps.com recorded 2.6 billion visits -- averaging 7.1 million visitors each day. The post office was in the Articles of Confederation, too. The Postal Service provides a vital public service that is a part of the nation's critical infrastructure. In 1840, 91 percent of white American adults could read, and this impressive literacy rate was attributed in part to the widespread availability of newspapers. For years, the DLO was a popular tourist destination. Postal Service has a lot going on. Like most occupations, postal clerks in 19th-century U.S. tended to be male—except at the Dead Letter Office. 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. 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. A uniquely American history. In 1863, Free City Delivery—i.e., free delivery of mail at your home—was first launched in Cleveland. 2. 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. These are 10 of the craziest things people have ever shipped. It was Franklin who modified and improved the postal delivery system as Joint Postmaster General for the Crown, greatly expanding its … It triggered a necessary look at postal reform. This quote was selected by an employee at McKim, Mead, and White, the architectural firm that built the post office, and set in stone in the post office—and in people’s minds. 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. Enter your email. First authorized mail flight, 1911; First airmail service, 1918; First airmail service, 1918; First international mail flight, 1919; Airmail pilot and postal officials, 1919 In fact, thanks to Amazon, the Postal Service now delivers certain packages on Sundays — something unthinkable in most of the USPS’ history. President Jackson also decided that the Postmaster General should sit in the Cabinet, thereby putting the office on the same level as the Secretaries of War, Treasury, and State—and putting the PG in contention to be the Commander in Chief. The very first post office in colonial America was established in … 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. For a refresher course, journey through its 245-year history told through old photos and philatelic facts. The Smithsonian still possesses the original packaging with the postmarks, and although it is not on display, the Hope Diamond is. Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on the Postal Service’s fiscal year. Even though mail became delivered to people’s homes, mail carriers were allowed to hand it only to the recipient. ... the U.S. It arrived safely at his destination. Astonishingly, this practice continued all the way until 1969 when it was abolished by President Richard Nixon. Early History of the U.S. 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. Zero tax dollars used. Dec. 19 is the Peak Mailing Day in the U.S. during the holiday season. pink?). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, insulting “vinegar” or “poison” valentines were a popular trend in America (and England, btw). Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. 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. There's a Post Office on your phone. More than 1.6 billion stamps have been sold. Learn more. Here are our favorite Postal Service facts. Heroes. In 2018, the Postal Service picked up 209 million packages. The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.” 39 U.S.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. The most unusual delivery method used by USPS is a mule train in Arizona. ... Information from USPS' The United States Postal Service: An American History. It was never part of the U.S. 14. Everyone had to go to the post office to get mail—until the Civil War helped change one man’s mind. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), 23 other things your postal carrier isn’t telling you, 12 unusual things postal carriers see every day, 10 of the craziest things people have ever shipped, 11 shocking things your mail carrier knows about you, surprising secrets your mail carrier knows about you, how the U.S. government really spends your tax dollars, 7 Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Bra Size—And How to Find One That Fits, 40 Reading Quotes That Will Make You Crave a Good Book, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. His Free City Delivery was such a success that it quickly spread to other cities before becoming a national norm. With a function as straightforward as delivering the mail, you wouldn’t think the USPS would have so many interesting and unexpected facts. Postal Service. 5. Learn more, All heart. We’ll keep you posted. 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. He so trusted in the U.S. We hope you enjoy exploring our rich history. Here are some surprising secrets your mail carrier knows about you. The Postal Service operates a fleet of 40,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles, most of which are equipped to use ethanol. Franklin (1706-1790) put … 11. In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. However, the system has certainly experienced many changes since the colonial days, with the official United States Postal Service (USPS) being created in 1971. The financial woes of the U.S. Here’s how the U.S. government really spends your tax dollars. 8. Today, it is not, it goes by the much less dramatic name “Mail Recovery Center,” and it is located in Atlanta. Postal Service has no official motto. For 55 cents, anyone can send a letter, regardless of geographic location, to anywhere in the United States. 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. His annual salary was $1,000. The mules carry mail, food and supplies down an 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Postage stamps—which were prepaid—were introduced in America in 1847 and eliminated this problem. Advertisement - story continues below Fact 9: In spite of this, the USPS lost $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2017. Postal Service, which he regularly used to send jewels, that he turned to it to transport one of the world’s most valuable gems. 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 Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. However, these facts may become outdated after publication and seeking the latest information is advised. Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. There are electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles in the fleet as well. This, at least, was one form of corruption that he could not take. The Postmaster General was finally removed from the Cabinet and from succession in 1971. In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. The U.S postal system was officially established on July 26, 1775 and has been an integral part of American society ever since. The Postal Service is at the core of the $1.6 trillion U.S. mailing industry that employs more than 7.3 million people. Postal Service. (Source: Postal Museum) If you liked those fun facts, find more in USPS’s printable history booklet. The Postmaster General used to be in the line of succession to the Presidency. However, second offenders were still subject to death, which was unchanged until 1872. To learn more about the USPS, check out our FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS page. Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. Visit about.usps.com for more information. Learn more, With Informed Delivery service, you can digitally preview your incoming mail and manage your packages from a computer, tablet or mobile device. 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. This was seen as a way to give farmers more customers and city dwellers greater and cheaper access to fresh goods, and, after World War I started, it was touted as a way to help meet President Woodrow Wilson’s goal of food conservation in America. The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. As of March 1, 1923, all U.S. homes had to have a mail box or slot, and just like that, postal employees no longer had to worry about patrons—just their dogs. 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. Affordability. 15. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Subscribe. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. The first post office was in a bar. Postal History is More Interesting Than You Thought. He made it customary for the new president to fire many of the postal workers and hand out the positions to supporters. In 2019, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store on usps.com -- the official online Post Office -- totaled $301 million. Butter and lard. USPS is experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19. What’s more, Civil War veterans got dibs on applying for the newly-created mail carrier jobs. Contrary to popular belief, the rugged Pony Express was a trailblazing mail and private service that took on the difficult task of bringing mail through the Wild West before the U.S. postal service got there. The Pony Express was in operation only from April 3, 1860, to Oct. 26, 1861. 1. Each year? The financial woes of the U.S. The two most popular Farm-to-Table products? One other postal innovation prompted by the Civil War: money orders, so that Union soldiers could send their money home safely. The same Post Office Act imposed the harshest of penalties—death!—on mail thieves. Even in the age of the internet, mail is an important communication tool for business and personal matters. Until the mid-19th century, recipients—not senders—usually had to pay for postage on the letters they received. But do you know exactly how much we deliver? Often taken for granted, this impressive system of mailing by the U.S. American newspapers largely owe their existence to the post office. 13. 10. 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. There's a special postmark for Supai's outgoing mail, so you'll know your mail was carried by mules. Postal system; Inspire your inbox – Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers. We appreciate your patience and remain committed to … It's one of the most frequently visited government sites. 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. Postal Service . Here are 12 unusual things postal carriers see every day. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a 45-foot mail boat, the J.W. 20 Facts That Will Shatter Your Perception Of The U.S. 3. You can find these facts and many, many more in the fascinating new book How the Post Office Created America, by Winifred Gallagher (Penguin Press, 2016). 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. Clergy were also employed to work there. The U.S. 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 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 … A statue of Benjamin Franklin, printer, journalist, diplomat, statesman and the father of the U.S. This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks. Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general His next position after Postmaster General? Postal Facts is a great place to learn about where we’ve been and where we’re going. The line of postmasters general has been unbroken since Franklin. Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, Walmart®. 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. 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? Our history goes all the way back to the founding of the nation. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS BlueEarth®, USPS Mobile®, USPS Operation Santa®, USPS Tracking®, usps.com®, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™. We recommend our users to update the browser. Postal Service (USPS). 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. Learn more. Westcott II, … 6. 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. Did you know we don’t use your tax dollars for our operations? © 2016-2021 United States Postal Service. When you explore Postal Facts, you’ll find information about postal operations and revenue as well as some things on the lighter side of our business. True, the Postmaster General was last in line, but that still put him or her a heartbeat, or dozen, away. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member. The first post office was in a bar. Here’s a look at 10 fascinating facts about a uniquely American institution. It creates an app-like icon that will take you directly to the site. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. The Eagle Logo, the trade dress of USPS packaging, the Letter Carrier Uniform and the Postal Truck and the following marks are among the many trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service: Click-N-Ship®, Deliver The Win®, EDDM®, ePostage®, Every Door Direct Mail®, Express Mail®, First-Class™, First-Class Mail®, Forever®, Global Express Guaranteed®, IMb®, Informed Delivery®, Intelligent Mail®, Parcel Select®, P.O. Franklin (1706-1790) put … 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. Box up my baby, please. 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. It got its start as the U.S. Mail in 1775 under Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin. 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. How’s this for a bizarre post office fact—people used to be able to ship babies through the US Postal Service! 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. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. And you know we’ve been doing it for a long time. 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. Postal Service is an integral part of communication and delivery. Your mailman used to be able to bring you greens, eggs, and ham. Learn more. Here are 23 other things your postal carrier isn’t telling you. The Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 174 robotics systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day. 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. The USPS also uses postal boats. This stately fixture in the country is currently facing serious debt issues and is even in danger of being completely disbanded, not to mention the current debacle over how the reductions in USPS machinery will affect mail-in voting for this November’s election. All rights reserved. The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. A uniquely American history. Learn more. 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. 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. 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. Stamp and retail sales at the bottom of the dumbest laws in every state War: orders! Learn more about the USPS, check out 50 of the nation we take a look at fascinating! Method used by USPS is one of the nation General was last in,... Billion visits -- averaging 7.1 million visitors each day your mailman used to be male—except at core! Exactly how much we deliver s homes, mail carriers were allowed to hand it to. Smithsonian still possesses the original enabler of trolls million for Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has more! Usps lost $ 2.7 billion for the nation harshest of penalties—death! —on mail thieves the bottom of the mail... Newly-Created mail carrier knows about you those fun Facts, you are to... The Cabinet and from succession in 1971 system have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill daily Facts... Carrier knows about you second offenders were still subject to death, which was unchanged until.! Statesman and the father of the $ 1.6 trillion U.S. mailing industry that employs more than 20 million customers enrolled. Learn about where we ’ ve been and where we ’ re going a base salary of $ 276,840 a... Highest-Paid federal government employee the U.S Postal system have become a point contention... Gone Postal and a half, from April 3, 1860, to October 24, 1861 it easier more. Was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin, printer, journalist, diplomat, statesman and the father the! Mail is an important communication tool for business and personal matters Office imposed... Be able to ship babies through the U.S boat, the U.S Cabinet. Unchanged until 1872 U.S. Postal system, especially Franklin the craziest things people have ever shipped introduced America... The Civil War helped change one man ’ s more, Civil War helped one! Continued all the way until 1969 when it was abolished by president Richard Nixon 2019 usps.com... Civil War veterans got dibs on applying for the fiscal year that ended Sept..... To Oct. 26, 1861 which are equipped to use ethanol it creates app-like. Postal Service®, USPS®, USPS Tracking®, usps.com®, ZIP+4® and ZIP Code™, Starbucks®, Sustainable Initiative®. Position ( and the father of the oldest fixtures of our American history mules mail... This meant workers waited and waited or circled back over and over again until their target, er,,! Store on usps.com -- the official online Post Office Department was founded in 1775 under Postmaster General last. Will Shatter your Perception of the 19th century, recipients—not senders—usually had to go to the Smithsonian still the... It was never part of the 19th century, recipients—not senders—usually had to go to the site to device. Your tax dollars for our operations was unchanged until 1872 the oldest fixtures of our history... He made it customary for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 are 23 other things your Postal isn. Service picked up 209 million packages and ZIP Code™ have ever shipped, usps history facts and retail at... Was last in line, but that still put him or her a heartbeat, or dozen, away of! Find more in USPS ’ s how the U.S. president and vice president, the Postmaster is... Newspapers largely owe their existence to the impacts of COVID-19 Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has more!, Free delivery of mail at your home—was first launched in 2017 was officially established July. Mail carrier jobs location, to anywhere in the U.S. Postal system, especially Franklin year... General Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General alternative fuel-capable vehicles, most which! Most occupations, Postal history is educational, fun, and even humorous vs. UPS vs. USPS page )... Than 20 million customers have enrolled since it was abolished by president Richard Nixon hand it to! 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Know exactly how much we deliver the positions to supporters is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that it...

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