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 system; Inspire your inbox – Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers. A uniquely American history. Early History of the U.S. Butter and lard. 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. Here are 12 unusual things postal carriers see every day. After the U.S. president and vice president, the postmaster general is the next highest-paid federal government employee. 15. Clergy were also employed to work there. 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. Here’s one sample: “Hey, Lover Boy, the place for you/Is home upon the shelf/‘Cause the only one who’d kiss you/Is a jackass like yourself!” Here are 11 shocking things your mail carrier knows about you. 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. 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. 1. A statue of Benjamin Franklin, printer, journalist, diplomat, statesman and the father of the U.S. His next position after Postmaster General? Even in the age of the internet, mail is an important communication tool for business and personal matters. It was never part of the U.S. The result: By the start of the 19th century, newspapers made up the bulk of the U.S. mail. The history of the U.S. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. 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. All rights reserved. In fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service recognized 232 heroic employees. It creates an app-like icon that will take you directly to the site. Postal Service. The two most popular Farm-to-Table products? The Smithsonian still possesses the original packaging with the postmarks, and although it is not on display, the Hope Diamond is. When using your mobile device to view Postal Facts, you can easily save the site to your device’s home screen. §101(a). (Source: Postal Museum) If you liked those fun facts, find more in USPS’s printable history booklet. Postal Service, which he regularly used to send jewels, that he turned to it to transport one of the world’s most valuable gems. We’ll keep you posted. 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. Their first employees ran errands and made deliveries on foot or by bicycle. 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. You know, like those Christmas cards you have to send each year. These are 10 of the craziest things people have ever shipped. There's a special postmark for Supai's outgoing mail, so you'll know your mail was carried by mules. 12. The same Post Office Act imposed the harshest of penalties—death!—on mail thieves. 7. 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). In fact, thanks to Amazon, the Postal Service now delivers certain packages on Sundays — something unthinkable in most of the USPS’ history. 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. 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. Like most occupations, postal clerks in 19th-century U.S. tended to be male—except at the Dead Letter Office. He made it customary for the new president to fire many of the postal workers and hand out the positions to supporters. He so trusted in the U.S. Visit about.usps.com for more information. When the Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, it went via U.S. mail. 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. 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. Postal History is More Interesting Than You Thought. Postal Inspector™, U.S. In 2018, the Postal Service picked up 209 million packages. Postal Service is rooted in the start of the country. 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. It triggered a necessary look at postal reform. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. It arrived safely at his destination. However, the system has certainly experienced many changes since the colonial days, with the official United States Postal Service (USPS) being created in 1971. 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. The financial woes of the U.S. Postal Facts 2020 provides the public with information about the Postal Service. Franklin (1706-1790) put … The USPS also uses postal boats. We appreciate your patience and remain committed to … On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. 20 Facts That Will Shatter Your Perception Of The U.S. 5. Learn more, All heart. Here’s how the U.S. government really spends your tax dollars. The Pony Express was in operation only from April 3, 1860, to Oct. 26, 1861. 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 U.S. president earns a base salary of $400,000 a year; the postmaster general gets a base salary of $276,840. With a function as straightforward as delivering the mail, you wouldn’t think the USPS would have so many interesting and unexpected facts. 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. Often taken for granted, this impressive system of mailing by the U.S. 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. Forest Stewardship Council®, McDonald’s®, National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, Starbucks®, Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, Walmart®. Here are 25 Surprising Facts About The USPS Not Many People Know. 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. In 1863, Free City Delivery—i.e., free delivery of mail at your home—was first launched in Cleveland. Postal Service. And you know we’ve been doing it for a long time. The line of postmasters general has been unbroken since Franklin. You know we deliver for America. 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. 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? Postage stamps—which were prepaid—were introduced in America in 1847 and eliminated this problem. His annual salary was $1,000. Postal Service has a lot going on. 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. Learn more. But do you know exactly how much we deliver? 14. 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. You can find these answers and more at facts.usps.com. 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. The most unusual delivery method used by USPS is a mule train in Arizona. The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. We take a look at some fun facts about the U.S. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. First authorized mail flight, 1911; First airmail service, 1918; First airmail service, 1918; First international mail flight, 1919; Airmail pilot and postal officials, 1919 The Postmaster General was finally removed from the Cabinet and from succession in 1971. Here are some surprising secrets your mail carrier knows about you. What’s more, Civil War veterans got dibs on applying for the newly-created mail carrier jobs. True, the Postmaster General was last in line, but that still put him or her a heartbeat, or dozen, away. 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 . Meanwhile, in Michigan, a 45-foot mail boat, the J.W. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member. Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member. For 55 cents, anyone can send a letter, regardless of geographic location, to anywhere in the United States. The USPS is one of the oldest fixtures of our American history. 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. 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 … Advertisement - story continues below Fact 9: In spite of this, the USPS lost $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2017. We recommend our users to update the browser. The U.S. mail was the original enabler of trolls. The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. More than 1.6 billion stamps have been sold. The history of the U.S. In later years, he was viewed as a serious presidential candidate. 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. American newspapers largely owe their existence to the post office. The Postal Service has 100 hybrid 2-ton vehicles. The Postal Service provides a vital public service that is a part of the nation's critical infrastructure. 13. Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. 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. ... the U.S. Fifty are electric hybrid and fifty are hydraulic hybrid. The Postmaster General used to be in the line of succession to the Presidency. Even though mail became delivered to people’s homes, mail carriers were allowed to hand it only to the recipient. 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. To learn more about the USPS, check out our FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS page. Affordability. Zero tax dollars used. Next, check out 50 of the dumbest laws in every state. Here are 23 other things your postal carrier isn’t telling you. 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. 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. The truth is, postal history is educational, fun, and even humorous. 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. Postal System have become a point of contention on Capitol Hill. For years, the DLO was a popular tourist destination. It got its start as the U.S. Mail in 1775 under Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin. This meant workers waited and waited or circled back over and over again until their target, er, customer, came home. His Free City Delivery was such a success that it quickly spread to other cities before becoming a national norm. In 2019, stamp and retail sales at The Postal Store on usps.com -- the official online Post Office -- totaled $301 million. Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on the Postal Service’s fiscal year. Did you know we have programs designed to help the communities we serve? The Express was in business for a year and a half, from April 3, 1860, to October 24, 1861. 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. Westcott II, … 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. Want even more information about the United States Postal Service? 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 For a refresher course, journey through its 245-year history told through old photos and philatelic facts. 11. 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. Until the mid-19th century, recipients—not senders—usually had to pay for postage on the letters they received. Using a borrowed $100 as their initial capital, they set up shop in a cellar beneath Ryan’s uncle’s tavern. 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. And what does the “ZIP” in ZIP Code mean anyway? Heroes. The very first post office in colonial America was established in … The first post office was in a bar. 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. 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 Postal Service has the largest gantry robotic fleet in the world using 174 robotics systems to move 314,000 mail trays per day. The U.S. Here’s a look at 10 fascinating facts about a uniquely American institution. It's one of the most frequently visited government sites. 2. There are electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles in the fleet as well. Subscribe. 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. The U.S postal system was officially established on July 26, 1775 and has been an integral part of American society ever since. Postal Facts is a great place to learn about where we’ve been and where we’re going. The history of the U.S. Postal Facts helps tell the Postal Service’s story and helps you better understand how the organization delivers for the nation. Astonishingly, this practice continued all the way until 1969 when it was abolished by President Richard Nixon. You can connect with us in many ways, including: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube. Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Learn more. 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. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Postal Service®. 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. This, at least, was one form of corruption that he could not take. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, insulting “vinegar” or “poison” valentines were a popular trend in America (and England, btw). It was Franklin who modified and improved the postal delivery system as Joint Postmaster General for the Crown, greatly expanding its … Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks. Today, it is not, it goes by the much less dramatic name “Mail Recovery Center,” and it is located in Atlanta. More than 20 million customers have enrolled since it was launched in 2017. Box up my baby, please. 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. 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. 16. 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. 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. Learn more. 8. The mules carry mail, food and supplies down an 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Postal Service reported a loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. In 1958, New York City jeweler Harry Winston donated the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond—today, valued at $350 million—to the Smithsonian. Enter your email. The U.S. Dec. 19 is the Peak Mailing Day in the U.S. during the holiday season. For a refresher course, journey through its 245-year history told through old photos and philatelic facts. ... Information from USPS' The United States Postal Service: An American History. 3. 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. Did you know we don’t use your tax dollars for our operations? Upended by coronavirus financial distress, a presidential election gone postal and a declining load of mail to be delivered, the U.S. 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. pink?). The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. 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. In accepting the position, Franklin dedicated his efforts to fulfilling George Washington's vision. 6. U.S. Supreme Court Justice. One other postal innovation prompted by the Civil War: money orders, so that Union soldiers could send their money home safely. Share This Article BuzzFeed … Early History of the U.S. The Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised more than $90 million for breast cancer research since 1998. Article IX said that the government “shall … Postal Service has no official motto. 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. For 141 years, getting a job at the U.S. postal system depended on one thing: connections. The Postal Service is at the core of the $1.6 trillion U.S. mailing industry that employs more than 7.3 million people. Every day? 4. The Postal Service processes and delivers 472.1 million mail pieces each day. Each year? 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. The financial woes of the U.S. 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. Here are our favorite Postal Service facts. We hope you enjoy exploring our rich history. 1. 9. Postal Service is an integral part of communication and delivery. His annual salary was $1,000. USPS is experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19. 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. © 2016-2021 United States Postal Service. The Postal Service operates a fleet of 40,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles, most of which are equipped to use ethanol. Ten Most Common Post Office Names in 2020: Clinton, 26 Madison, 25 Franklin, 24 Washington, 24 Marion, 23 Chester, 22 Greenville, 22 Springfield, 22 Georgetown, 21 Natural gas and liquid propane gas vehicles in the United States Postal Service: an American history you understand! 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