Mail Delivery

1963 5¢ City Mail Delivery Centennial
July 1, 1863

Free City Mail Delivery

On July 1, 1863, the US Post Office inaugurated its free City Mail Delivery Service in part in response to the Civil War. By the end of the first year, 65 cities offered the service and employed 685 mail carriers.

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1870-71 15¢ Webster
June 10, 1840

Webster’s Stamp Proposal

On June 10, 1840, Senator Daniel Webster submitted a resolution to the US Congress recommending that the US issue stamps.  He was inspired by the success of Britain’s recently issued Penny Black, and proposed the US follow their example.

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1990 25¢ Plastic Flag
May 18, 1990

First USPS ATM Stamp

On May 18, 1990, the USPS issued an experimental plastic stamp to test the popularity of selling stamps through Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). While the plastic stamp proved unpopular, especially with environmentalists, the ATM format proved to be a success.

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1917 Washington violet, perf 10, Type I
May 9, 1918

The Military Postal Express Service

On May 9, 1918, the US War Department created the Military Postal Express Service (MPES) to handle military mail in Europe during World War I.  It was the first postal system in the world to be created by an Army.

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1959 1¢ Abraham Lincoln
May 7, 1833,

Postmaster Lincoln

On May 7, 1833, future President Abraham Lincoln took a job as postmaster for New Salem, Illinois.  Holding that position for three years, he was well-liked and respected for his commitment to his postal customers.

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1987 22¢ Special Occasions: Keep in Touch!
April 20, 1987

Special Occasions Stamps

On April 20, 1987, the USPS issued the set of eight Special Occasions stamps, the first “special” stamp booklet.

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1930 4¢ Guam Guard Mail - carmine
April 8, 1930

Guam Guard Mail Stamps 

On April 8, 1930, Guam Guard Mail stamps were introduced for inter-island mail.  Issued in small numbers, they were only in use for a year.  

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1869 2¢ Pony Express Rider Pictorial
April 3, 1860

Inaugural Run of the Pony Express 

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express made its first trip from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California.  Though short-lived, the Pony Express was a revolution in communication, able to transport important letters across the country more than twice as fast as the existing overland mail system.

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1861 1¢ Benjamin Franklin, blue
March 3, 1863

First U.S. Mail Classification Act

On March 3, 1863, Congress passed an act establishing three classes of mail to simplify a complicated system that included over 300 different rates.

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