Significant dates

1775

Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress

1847

U.S. postage stamps issued

1855

Registered Mail begins

Prepayment of postage required

1860

Pony Express began

1863

Free city delivery begins

Postage rates become uniform, regardless of distance

1873

U.S. postal cards issued

1874

General Postal Union (now Universal Postal Union) established

1893

First commemorative stamps issued

1896

Rural free delivery begins

1913

Parcel Post® begins

1918

Scheduled airmail service begins

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

Labor contract negotiated through collective bargaining, a federal government “first”

1974

Self-adhesive stamps tested

1982

Last year Postal Serviceā„¢ 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

2021

Delivering for America plan introduced

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