Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy birthday to us!

Benny here. On this day in 1775, the U.S. Post Office was established by the Second Continental Congress. I remember the day just like it was yesterday.

As you know, I was appointed the first Postmaster General and I put into place many of the foundational aspects of today's mail system.

Prior to the establishment of U.S. Postal service, few American colonists needed to send mail to each other. Most mail was sent across the Atlantic. There were no post offices in the colonies, so mail was typically left at inns and taverns.

I had already served as a colonial Postmaster for Pennsylvania, but the British fired me for my "revolutionary activities."  I think they didn't like the fact that I made fun of their pretty red uniforms! Before I got "downsized," I produced the first rate chart, which standardized delivery costs based on distance and weight. Pretty smart?  Too bad I didn't think of , "If it fits, it ships."

By time my tenure as the U.S. Postmaster General was over, I had had established regular routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain. I also had established 75 Post Offices across the land.

So, you can thank me now or you can thank me later! 


Anonymous said...

Gee, Benny. You did much for establishing the Postal Service but you might also give a little credit to the Mrs. While you were in Philadelphia writing all those wonderful documents that are the cornerstone of our country, the Mrs. actually ran the day-to-day operations of the Postal Service. At least that's according to Cokie Roberts' book on the women of our founding fathers.

Benny the Blogger said...

You are right. Mrs. Franklin was my right hand. Tip of the hat to Mrs. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Wondering Benny....how many of those first 75 post offices are still in operation? Have you ever seen the movie..The Postman with Kevin Costner? I noticed that even though it was set in the future, they used the orignial post office emblem on their hats! You must have been the USPS representative on the set.

Anonymous said...

235 years - not bad. Thanks Benny, we'll take it from here.

Joan said...

Thanks Benny. Did you ever thing it would one day become the biggest employer in the land and then have computers take over. Probably not. Thanks for establishing the best communication system in the world and most of our traveld roads as well.

Francis said...

Thanks Benny for all that you made to be what it is today. Today I was reading church book word among us and thought althought this book maybe in internet or books maybe coming in Kindle, still the neatness of book or the Holy book in a prayer place or appropriateness of having a book or presentation handouts does not diminish the need to deliver these materials besides letters. We can call it our push system. All other media need the people to go get the media or be connected to the medium like wifi or internet but postal system will push it to you and you need to take it no matter what. Also "if it fits,it will ship, you can see it anytime anywhere" can be another medium where the shippment and mail can be tracked and seen where it is going and be able to read for specific kind of request for a fee or package where users prefers to view it rather than getting it shipped (scanning)