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United States Postal Service

The official postal service of the United States, it was originally a cabinet department, but was later converted to a government-owned corporation.

Timeline

  • 1639 - Richard Fairbanks' tavern in Boston named repository for overseas mail

  • 1823 - Navigable waters designated post roads by Congress

  • 1829 - Postmaster General joins Cabinet

  • 1830 - Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations established, later Office of the Chief Postal Inspector

  • 1845 - Star routes

  • 1855 - Compulsory prepayment of postage

  • 1858 - Street letter boxes

  • 1862 - Railway mail service, experimental

  • 1863 - Free city delivery

  • 1863 - Uniform postage rates, regardless of distance

  • 1863 - Domestic mail divided into three classes

  • 1864 - Post offices categorized by classes

  • 1864 - Railroad post offices

  • 1864 - Domestic money orders

  • 1869 - Foreign or international money orders

  • 1872 - Congress enacts Mail Fraud Statute

  • 1879 - Domestic mail divided into four classes

  • 1880 - Congress establishes title of Chief Post Office Inspector

  • 1887 - International parcel post

  • 1893 - First commemorative stamps

  • 1898 - Private postcards authorized

  • 1902 - Rural free delivery, permanent

  • 1911 - Postal savings system

  • 1911 - Carriage of mail by airplane sanctioned between Garden City and Mineola, NY; Earle H. Ovington, first U. S. mail pilot

  • 1912 - Village delivery

  • 1913 - Parcel post

  • 1913 - Collect-on-delivery

  • 1914 - Government-owned and -operated vehicle service

  • 1916 - Postal Inspectors solve last known stagecoach robbery

  • 1920 - Metered postage

  • 1920 - First transcontinental airmail

  • 1924 - Regular transcontinental airmail service

  • 1925 - Special handling

  • 1927 - International airmail

  • 1935 - Trans-Pacific airmail

  • 1939 - Trans-Atlantic airmail

  • 1939 - Autogiro service, experimental

  • 1941 - Highway post offices

  • 1943 - Postal zoning system in 124 major post offices

  • 1948 - Parcel post international air service

  • 1948 - Parcel post domestic air service

  • 1950 - Residential deliveries cut from two to one a day

  • 1953 - Piggy-back mail service by trailers or railroad flatcars

  • 1955 - Certified mail

  • 1957 - Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee

  • 1959 - Missile mail dispatched from submarine to mainland Florida

  • 1960 - Facsimile mail

  • 1964 - Self-service post offices

  • 1964 - Simplified postmark

  • 1965 - Optical scanner (ZIP Code reader tested)

  • 1966 - Postal savings system terminated

  • 1967 - Mandatory presorting by ZIP Code for second - and third-class mailers

  • 1969 - Patronage no longer a factor in postmaster and rural carrier appointments

  • 1969 - First die proof of a postage stamp canceled on moon by Apollo 11 mission

  • 1971 - United States Postal Service began operation; Postmaster General no longer in Cabinet

  • 1971 - Labor contract achieved through collective bargaining for the first time in history of federal government

  • 1971 - Star routes changed to highway contract routes

  • 1971 - National service standards established: overnight delivery of 95% of airmail within 600]] miles and 95% of First-Class Mail within local areas

  • 1972 - Stamps by mail

  • 1972 - Passport applications accepted in post offices

  • 1973 - National service standards expanded to include second-day delivery of parcel post traveling up to 150]] miles, with one-day delivery time added for each additional 400]] miles

  • 1974 - Highway post offices terminated

  • 1974 - First satellite transmission of MAILGRAMs

  • 1976 - Post office class categories eliminated

  • 1976 - Discount for presorted First-Class Mail

  • 1977 - Airmail abolished as a separate rate category

  • 1977 - Express Mail, permanent new class of service

  • 1977 - Final run of railroad post office on June 30

  • 1978 - Discount for presorted second-class mail

  • 1978 - Postage stamps and other philatelic items copyrighted

  • 1979 - Discount for presorted bulk third-class mail

  • 1979 - Postal Career Executive Service (PCES)

  • 1980 - New standards require envelopes and postcards to be at least 3 1/2" high and 5" long to be mailable

  • 1980 - INTELPOST (high-speed international electronic message service)

  • 1981 - Controlled circulation classification discontinued

  • 1981 - Discount for First-Class Mail presorted to carrier routes

  • 1982 - Automation begins with installation of optical character readers

  • 1982 - E-COM (Electronic Computer-Originated Mail, electronic message service with hard copy delivery)

  • 1983 - Ended public service subsidy from federal government

  • 1984 - Integrated retail terminals automate postal windows

  • 1985 - Jackie Strange, first female Deputy Postmaster General

  • 1985 - E-COM terminated

  • 1986 - International Priority Airmail

  • 1986 - Postal Service realigned; field divisions created

  • 1987 - Small parcel and bundle sorters

  • 1987 - Stamps by phone

  • 1987 - Multiline optical character readers ordered

  • 1988 - Inspector General's Act extends duties of Chief Postal Inspector

  • 1989 - Universal Postal Union Congress in Washington, DC

  • 1990 - Wide area barcode readers

  • 1990 - Easy Stamp, allowing purchase of stamps through computers

  • 1990 - International business reply service

  • 1991 - Independent measurement of First-Class Mail service

  • 1992 - Remote barcoding system

  • 1992 - Reorganization: regions, divisions and management sectional centers replaced by area and district offices for customer service and mail processing

Source: http://www.usps.gov/history

For a number of years, the US Postal Service is head sponsor of a professional cycling team, bearing its name. The team features Lance Armstrong, winner of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2002.

http://ircalc.usps.gov/weight.asp?Contents=1 USPS International Calculator, for determining rates world-wide.



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