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The First Post Office Was Established In 1639 In A Boston Bar (Video)

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National Postal Worker Day on July 1st recognizes postal workers all across the nation. The day encourages us to show our appreciation. Thank the numerous men and women who work consistently and diligently  to deliver all of our mail. These employees suffer some of the harshest working conditions, yet continue to persevere six days a week.

  • Across the United States, postal workers walk an average of 4 to 8 miles carrying a full load of letters and packages. Delivering them promptly to each of our doorsteps.
  • There are approximately 490,000 postal workers across the United States.
  • Regardless of the weather, postal workers deliver to businesses and homes all week long. When the temperatures fluctuate from extreme heat and cold, if it rains, in sleet and blizzards, too, the mail gets delivered.
  • In 1913, the postal service started delivering packages up to a maximum of 11 pounds.
  • The most surprising package to arrive for delivery was a small child.  Barely under the weight limit, James Beagle was mailed. He was mailed at a cost of 15 cents to his grandmother just a few miles away.  This practice continued for just over a year. Then the postmaster general was able to put regulations in place prohibiting it.
  • Did you know that the postmaster general earns more than the vice president. After the U.S. president and vice president, the postmaster general is the next highest-paid federal government employee.  The U.S. president earns a base salary of $400,000 a year; the postmaster general gets a base salary of $276,840. 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.
  • The first post office was in a bar.  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.
  • American newspapers largely owe their existence to the post office.  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.
  • Until the mid-19th century, recipients—not senders—usually had to pay for postage on the letters they received.   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. Postage stamps—which were prepaid—were introduced in America in 1847 and eliminated this problem.
  • While the Pony Express did deliver mail, it was never part of the U.S. postal service.
  •  When the Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, it went via U.S. mail.
  • The U.S. Postal Service has no official motto.  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.
  • BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WAS THE FIRST POSTMASTER GENERAL. The committee that created the Postal Service consisted of Benjamin Franklin, Sam Adams, Richard Henry Lee, Philip Livingston, Thomas Lynch and Thomas Willing. They mainly handled communication between Congress and the armies at that time. Franklin was the first Postmaster General, and our present postal service comes from the system he created.
  • GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS ON THE FIRST STAMPS.  America’s first president was the first one to be on general-issue stamps that were released in 1847, and since then, he’s been on more stamps than any other person.
  • It wasn’t until 1971 that the postal service started to paint their mailboxes blue, which is how we know them know. Before that, they were all different colors, including army-olive green after World War I.
  • There is still one place left in the US where mail is delivered by mule.  Although it sounds like an archaic practice, the village of Supai in Arizona still gets their mail delivered by mule. Since they’re located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the local Havasupai tribe gets its deliveries from a fleet of 50 horses and mules that make an 8-mile trek to get there.
  • Along the Magnolia River in Alabama, a 17-foot mail boat delivers mail to 180 dock-side mailboxes each day.
  • The postal service employs more than 7.5 million people.
  • The oldest continuously operating post office is the Hinsdale Post Office in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. It had been a general store before it was converted into a post office in 1816.
  • There is a facility just for dealing with bad handwriting.  There are actually experts who decipher horrible handwriting — the Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City gets all of the hard-to-read mail that can’t be figured out by automated mail sorters. There are 1,000 workers who can translate scribble in an average of four seconds.
  • In 2018, USPS employees traveled a cumulative 1.4 billion miles to deliver mail, which comes out to 56,220 laps around Earth, 15 trips to the sun, and 5,861 trips to the moon.
  • The United States post office operates almost 215,000 vehicles in order to deliver the mail–which is one of the largest civilian fleets in the entire world.
  • The most common street address that the post office delivers to is Main Street
  • Ever wondered exactly what the ZIP in ZIP code stood for? (You did notice it was all capitalized right? That means it’s an acronym. No?  Well, it is! Happy ‘I learned something new today’ day!)  ZIP code stands for ‘Zone Improvement Plan’ and was brought into existence.
  • Can a person have their own zip code?  The answer is yes – but only if you are the President of the United States or the First Lady. The POTUS’s ZIP+4 code is 20500-0001, while the FLOTUS is 20500-0002.
  • The one other example of an individual with their own ZIP code happens to be U.S. Forest Service mascot Smokey Bear. Between his popularity as an advertising icon and interest in the real live Smokey (an orphaned bear cub rescued from a 1950 forest fire) at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., he received so much mail that he was granted his own ZIP code of 20252. Although this ZIP code was eventually decommissioned in 1993, it was recently brought back by popular demand, as he still gets letters from children across the US.
  • Further up North, one other individual sharing this honor is Santa Claus, who fittingly has the Canadian postal code of H0H 0H0. No such luck in the US however, where letters to Santa go to the actual town of North Pole, Alaska and its ZIP code of 99705.
  • When ZIP codes were first introduced in 1963, their use wasn’t mandatory. (And believe it or not, still isn’t.) So to help convince people to switch from their old address formats, the U.S. Postal Service commissioned a 15-minute long educational film led by musical group The Swingin’ Six. It featured music, comedy, and even romance, juxtaposed with a leaden-faced appearance from the Postmaster General of the United States.


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