July 26, 1775: U.S. Postal System is Established
On this day in 1775, the United States postal system was created by the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General. Benjamin, who had previously been postmaster of Philadelphia, was responsible for all Post Offices — from Massachusetts to Georgia — and had authority to hire as many workers as needed.
Upon his departure in 1776, he left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the U.S and Britain.
Visit the Benjamin Franklin site to learn more about the Man of Letters.
Photo: (1) Interior of a post office showing post office boxes and an postmaster greeting two children and a woman c. 1901 (Library of Congress) (2) Benjamin Franklin, 1783 (Library of Congress).
In somewhat ironic timing, yesterday NPR ran a story about a House bill that aims to stop door-to-door postal service, while keeping the cheaper mailbox service. Earlier this year, the USPS announced plans to cut Saturday service, but the plan was nixed in April. The agency lost a record near $16 billion last year.