25 Surprising Facts About The USPS Not Many People Know

Posted by , Updated on April 12, 2018

With the USPS delivering mail to your residence every day except Sunday, have you ever wondered what else there is to know about this service? Well, you’ve come to the right place. The USPS has a long and proud history, earning a solid reputation and respect for its standards and professionalism, and it shouldn’t be any other way. Even in the age of the internet, mail is an important communication tool for business and personal matters. You know, like those Christmas cards you have to send each year. Curious to find out more about your favorite postal carrier? Here are 25 Surprising Facts About The USPS Not Many People Know.


In 1966, the Chicago Post Office, the largest post office at the time, came to a startling halt when 10 million pieces of mail became log-jammed. It triggered a necessary look at postal reform.

post officeSource: https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100.pdf

Over 200 federal laws protect your mail, making the USPS an incredibly secure government service.

uspsSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

The USPS has their own federal agency called the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. As one of the oldest agencies in the country, they're tasked with the important job of investigating mail and protecting it.

postal policeSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

The USPS has their own crime drama called The Inspectors. It's about their federal agency that investigates mail crimes. It airs Sunday mornings on CBS.

inspectorsSource: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/21/16-million-postal-service-has-spent-make-satuday-morning-tv-show-turns-postal-inspectors-into-crimef/355986002/

Public mailboxes weren't always blue. In the past, they had been many colors, including green, red, white, and others. They were officially changed in 1971.

USPS_mailboxesSource: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fun-facts-about-the-postal-service/ss-AAlCivC#image=2

Established in 1639, the first post office was in an old tavern and home owned by Richard Fairbanks.

first post officeSource: https://www.rd.com/culture/us-postal-service-facts/

The USPS is a worldwide mailing service, processing and delivering 47% of the world's mail.

usps truckSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/postalfacts2016.pdf

Though a government agency, the USPS competes and also collaborates with private companies like FedEx and UPS.

fedex upsSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

The only cost effective way they can deliver mail to the town of Supai, Arizona, deep in the Grand Canyon, is by mule.

mulesSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3025731/The-place-America-mail-delivered-mule-Inside-Indian-village-hidden-Grand-Canyon-eight-miles-nearest-road.html

For years, having connections in high places was likely the only way to get a job at the U.S. Postal Service. Many presidents, starting with Jefferson, would replace employees with party loyalists, but the practice was abandoned by Richard Nixon.

jeffersonSource: https://www.rd.com/culture/us-postal-service-facts/

With 227,000 mail carrier vehicles delivering mail all over the country, the U.S. Postal Service has one of the largest civilian fleets in the world.

usps fleetSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/postalfacts2017.pdf

The first stamp honoring an African American was in 1940 with the image of Booker T. Washington.

booker t washingtonSource: https://postalmuseum.si.edu/collections/object-spotlight/btw-stamp.html

Mail is a massive 1.4 trillion dollar industry. With such high demand, the USPS employs 7.5 million people.

usps sortingSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

While the words, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" is a famous motto attributed to the USPS, it's actually not their motto. They don't officially have one.

usps truck snowSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/mission-motto.pdf

Founded in 1815, the Hinsdale Post Office in New Hampshire is the oldest continuously running post office in the country.

hinsdaleSource: http://www.reformer.com/stories/hinsdale-nh-its-the-oldest-continuously-operating-post-office-in-the-nation,150058

For most of the country's history, the Postmaster General was in line for the succession of the Presidency. The position was removed from the line of succession in 1971.

white houseSource: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-line-of-succession-to-the-u-s-presidency.html

In 1895, they once had a mascot: Owney the mail terrier. He traveled around the world on trains and steam ships, delivering mail. He died of a bullet wound under unclear circumstances in 1897. His body and all his various medals (tags) were preserved and are on display in the National Postal Museum's atrium.

OwneyDogSource: https://postalmuseum.si.edu/exhibits/current/moving-the-mail/mail-by-rail/owney-mascot-of-the-railway-mail-service/index.html

The USPS didn't have a female postmaster general until February 2015. Her name is Megan Brennan, and she started out as a mail carrier in 1986.

Megan-brennanSource: http://time.com/3585604/usps-megan-brennan-mail-patrick-donahoe/

George Washington is a popular face to put on the stamp. In fact, he's been on more stamps than any person in U.S. history.

george washingtonSource: https://www.newsmax.com/fastfeatures/history-postage-stamps-chris-west-george-washington/2014/11/13/id/605149/

Before 1863, everyone had to go to the post office to get mail, but it was such a pain, Joseph Briggs launched a free mail delivery service and it became a huge hit.

mail boxesSource: https://www.rd.com/culture/us-postal-service-facts/

The famous and valuable Hope Diamond (all 45.52 carats) was mailed by the USPS to the Smithsonian. It cost $2.44 to ship plus $142.85 for insurance.

hope diamondSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/hope-diamond.pdf

The Postmaster General is one of the highest paid government officials. In 2012, then Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe earned $512,093.

Patrick_R._DonahoeSource: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/15/us-postal-service-loses-159-billion/

While you might think Subway or McDonalds has the largest retail network, it's actually the USPS. It's larger than McDonalds, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart combined.

us post officeSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

Benjamin Franklin was Postmaster General for the Royal Crown until 1774 when he was fired for being too loyal to the colonies. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress hired him as their Postmaster General. His salary was $1,000.

benjamin franklinSource: https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100/pub100_007.htm

Dog bites are a serious problem for mail carriers. More than 6,000 mail carriers are attacked by dogs each year. The USPS promotes National Dog Bite Awareness week in April to educate the public on the issue.

bog biteSource: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/top-12-things-to-know.htm

Photo: 1. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 2. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 3. Ian Poellet, US Post Office - Presque Isle Michigan, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 4. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 5. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 6. Pixnio.com (Public Domain), 7. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 8. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 9. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 10. AgnosticPreachersKid, White House DC, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 11. User:Magicpiano, HinsdaleNH PostOffice, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 12. gillfoto, USPS Truck 3137, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 13. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 14. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 15. AcrossTheAtlantic, USPS Truck, Durham NH, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 16. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 17. Elf, SupaiUSMailMules, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 18. © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), Fedex, Boeing 777F, N856FD and UPS, Boeing 747-400F, N574UP, Cologne Bonn Airport-7172, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 19. Tdorante10, West 52nd St 08 - USPS Radio City, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 20. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 21. EraserGirl, USPS mailboxes, CC BY 2.0 , 22. IMDB.com (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 23. Tim1965, United States Postal Inspection Service vehicle, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 24. United States Postal Service, USPS Post office boxes 1, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 25. Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois, United States Post Office-Chicago (6039060300), CC BY-SA 2.0

SEE ALSO: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever »


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