Since its establishment in 1792, according to the U.S. Postal Service, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
  • On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signed legislation that created the U.S. Postal Service. During colonial times, sending messages depended upon private couriers, friends, or traveling businessmen. These methods rarely followed a specific schedule. This practice created problems in sending timely information across long distances. The Postal Service gave the newly formed U.S. government a way to create official mail routes and permanent post offices in towns across the states.
    The Postal Service helped make the expansion of the country that much easier. Pioneers could keep up with family and business in their hometowns, and important news could spread across the land with regularity and speed.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    expansion Noun

    process of enlarging.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    legislation Noun

    law, legal act, or statute.

    permanent Adjective

    constant or lasting forever.

    pioneer Noun

    person who is among the first to do something.

    route Noun

    path or way.

    schedule Noun

    set of time tables or deadlines for appointments or completion of tasks.

    specific Adjective

    exact or precise.

    town Noun

    human settlement larger than a village and smaller than a city.