Significant Dates

A quick glance at events.


1775 - Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued
1855 - Prepayment of postage required
1860 - Pony Express began
1863 - Free city delivery began
1873 - U.S. postal cards issued
1874 - General Postal Union (now Universal Postal Union) established
1893 - First commemorative stamps issued
1896 - Rural free delivery began
1913 - Parcel Post® began
1918 - Scheduled airmail service began
1950 - Residential deliveries reduced to one a day
1957 - Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee established
1963 - ZIP Code inaugurated
1970 - Express Mail® began experimentally
1971 - United States Postal Service® began operations
1971 - Labor contract negotiated through collective bargaining, a federal government "first"
1974 - Self-adhesive stamps tested
1982 - Last year Postal Service™ accepted public service subsidy
1983 - ZIP+4® Code began
1992 - Self-adhesive stamps introduced nationwide
1993 - National Postal Museum opened
1994 - Postal Service launched public Internet site
1998 - U.S. semipostal stamp issued
2004 - Priority Mail® flat-rate box introduced
2006 - Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act signed
2007 - “Forever” stamp issued
2008 - Competitive pricing for expedited mail began
2009 - Free usps.com iPhone app offered
2011 - Every Door Direct Mail® introduced
2013 - Sunday package delivery expanded
2014 - Informed Delivery® tested
2017 - Informed Delivery available nationwide

On This Day in Postal History

Image of a newspaper clipping featuring the Postal Service.

A list of notable events by month/day/year is available in two formats, PDF and RTF.

 

Want More USPS History?

A more complete chronology of events can be found near the end of The United States Postal Service: An American History. PDF

 

 

July 1, 1971: Postal Service Day

Image of Post Office Department and U.S. Mail logos.

The USPS officially began operations on July 1, 1971, "Postal Service Day."


To learn about the nationwide celebrations that commemorated the transformation of the U.S. Post Office Department into the U.S. Postal Service, see our 6-page paper. PDF