“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”.
Yep, the USPS has weathered many changes since the earliest days of the U.S.A.
Here’s 18 facts about snail mail..
18 Facts about the United States Postal Service
- Authorized by the United States Constitution, the Post Office was initially run by founding father, Benjamin Franklin in 1775.
- In 2019, the USPS had a revenue of $71 billion dollars but a net loss of $8.81 billion dollars.
- U.S. Postage Stamps were not issued until 1847.
- Effective December 6th, 2006, Congress enacted the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act signed by President Bush. The Act included requirement that the USPS to pre-fund retirement benefits for all employees for fifty years. This law, in turn, led to several years of revenue deficits that financially crippled the USPS’ ability to maintain operations and compete with the likes of Fed Ex, UPS, and Amazon. *A 2021 bill has been introduced to quell and/or undo the unfair requirement of the act.
- Airmail Service began in 1918.
- Formerly known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, the reorganization and new name—the USPS, became official on July 1st, 1971 after a series of labor union strikes, walkouts and talks that briefly interrupted postal service across the country.
- Financial Year 2019: 11.52 billion pounds of paper(approximately 98 million mature trees) was delivered by the USPS in the form of First Class Mail, Marketing Mail(Junk mail), and Periodicals.
- 49% of the USPS workforce are from minority ethnicities as of March 3rd, 2021 according to facts.usps.com.
- The phrase “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” was not originally spoken about modern carriers nor is it a postal motto. The USPS has no motto. Never has. The phrase comes from The Persian Wars by Herodotus, book 8, paragraph 98 to be exact, and was engraved at the James A. Farley Post Office in NYC. Remember that.
- It was in the year 1980 when The Military Postal Service Agency was formed, bringing together postal operations of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. All told, these postal operations serve 67 countries.
- By 2018, a whopping 100,000 U.S. military veterans accounted for 16% of the national postal workforce.
- (2021) 644,000 women and men work for the United States Postal Service.
- Although the year 2020 saw the Postal Service delivering a record daily high of 23 million packages, the 2020 Holiday Season saw the Postal Service delivering a staggering 1.19 billion packages. One or two were mine.
- The United States Postal Service is the only delivery service that operates in every community in America and can reach every address. Take that, Fed Ex!
- By 2021, over 10 million people a day visit usps.com and over 800,000 new users signed up every week for The USPS Informed Delivery app. With realtime tracking and reporting, the app allows customers advanced views of their mail delivery service—a game changer for e-commerce companies.
- Abraham Lincoln was the only President who actually served as a working postmaster. Harry Truman held the title and office briefly before handing it over to a widow who needed the job and money.
- Famous Postal Workers: Everyone knows that Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General of the Post Office but did anyone know that actor/comedian Steve Carell worked as a rural letter carrier in Littleton, MA.?
- At the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, is a stuffed dog named Owney. The story goes that in 1888, after wandering into an Albany, NY, post office, Owney was taken in by postal workers who then allowed the shaggy dog to ride wagons and railcars along mail routes. Over the next nine years, Owney was adorned with metal tags indicating his travel destinations to: Algiers, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Suez, and the Azores. Eventually, he was fitted with a leather harness to hold all the tags from his travels until the sad day he bit a mail clerk who was showing him off to an Ohio newspaper reporter. Unfortunately, the Postmaster had Owney put down on June 11th, 1897, but the good, if not creepy, news, is that the letter carriers got together and paid to have Owney’s body stuffed and preserved.
120+ years later..
Owney stands to remind people that even though 5700 postal carriers get bit by dogs every year, Dog is still man’s, and woman’s, best friend!