Today is Thank a Mailman Day! In 1775, the Second Continental Congress established the Constitutional Post—the first organized mail service in America. Before this act, people relied on friends, merchants, or private messengers to carry their letters. It was an unreliable system, and colonial British postal inspectors often intercepted confidential messages.
As the nation’s first Postmaster General, Benjamin Franklin established many of the conventions we are accustomed to today, including a standardized rate chart based on weight and distance. Before the invention of the stamp in 1847, the writer could pay the postage in advance or leave it for the recipient to pay upon delivery!
Over the past two centuries, the Postal Service has grown and changed dramatically, but its mission of promoting free and open communication has remained the same. To celebrate Thank a Mailman Day, take a moment to appreciate this historic service and thank your mail carrier the next time you see him or her!