Factoids & History

African-Americans on Postage Stamp virtual exhibit at National Postal Museum features this stamp commemorating Frederick Douglass.


"Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1817–1895) is the subject of the Prominent Americans Issue's 25-cent stamp. Douglass was the best known and most influential Black spokesman for the abolitionist movement in the nineteenth century. Born a slave, he escaped to the North, where he became an anti-slavery leader. The self-educated Douglass published his own newspaper in 1847, which not only championed emancipation but also women’s rights. He collaborated with the white abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and he lectured extensively at anti-slavery conventions across the nation. Douglass's best-known work is his autobiography, 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,' which was published in 1845.

Douglass conferred with President Lincoln on the treatment of black soldiers and with President Andrew Johnson on the subject of black suffrage. During the Reconstruction period, he was appointed to the territorial legislature of the District of Columbia and subsequently served as police commissioner and later as minister to Haiti."


Woman on Stamps virtual exhibit at National Postal Museum featured the 1970 Woman Suffrage stamp.


"The 6-cent stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the constitutional amendment that guaranteed American women the right to vote was first placed on sale on August 26, 1970, at Adams, Massachusetts. The 19th amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919 and ratified on August 18, 1920. The amendment declared that 'the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.'" 

In “One Day” at USPS, 12 Facts:

  1. “Each day the Postal Service processes and delivers 181.9 million pieces of First-Class Mail.”

  2. “The Postal Service issues 269,098 money orders daily.”

  3. “The Postal Service employs more than 97,000 military veterans and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country.”

  4. “The Postal Service processes and delivers 48 percent of the world's mail.”

  5. “The Carrier Alert Program recognizes that carriers can help monitor the well-being of elderly and disabled customers. A local sponsoring agency notifies the Post Office of persons who want to participate in the service and a decal is placed in their mailbox. Carriers will then be alert to an accumulation of mail that might indicate an accident or illness, and notify appropriate officials.”

  6. “Zero tax dollars used. The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”

  7. “Minorities comprise nearly 40 percent of the Postal Service workforce.”

  8. “Employees at the Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, UT, are responsible for deciphering terribly handwritten or shoddily printed addresses.”

  9. “In the early days of Parcel Post, parents sometimes mailed their children if they met the 11-pound weight limit. In 1913, an 8-month-old baby in Ohio was mailed by his parents to his grandmother who lived a few miles away.”

  10. “More than 1,400 postal-owned buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

  11. “More than 1,400 murals and/or sculptures from President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs are in our Post Offices around the nation. More information can be found at wpamurals.com/history.htm.”

  12. “The Post Office Department was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. His annual salary was $1,000. Before 1971, the PMG was a Cabinet member.”


"The 8-cent Postal People stamps were released nationwide on April 30, 1973. The ten stamps, printed on the same sheet, depicted services performed by postal people, the services ranging from the sale of stamps in a post office to the processing and delivering of mail. On the reverse of each stamp descriptive text was printed."

transparent mr zip.png

"The cartoon figure, Mr. ZIP, was adopted by the Postal Service as the trademark for the Zoning Improvement Plan or ZIP Code, which began on July 1, 1963. However, the figure originated several years earlier. It was designed by Harold Wilcox, son of a letter carrier and a member of the Cunningham and Walsh advertising agency, for use by Chase Manhattan Bank in New York in a bank-by-mail campaign. Wilcox's design was a child-like sketch of a postman delivering a letter. The figure was used only a few times, then filed away.


The American Telephone and Telegraph Company acquired the design from the Cunningham and Walsh agency and kindly made it available to the Post Office Department without cost. Post Office Department artists retained the face but sharpened the limbs and torso and added a mail bag. The new figure, dubbed Mr. ZIP, was unveiled by the Post Office Department at a convention of postmasters in October 1962. Mr. ZIP, who has no first name, appeared in many public service announcements and advertisements urging postal customers to use the five-digit ZIP Code that was initiated on July 1, 1963. Within four years of his appearance, eight out of ten Americans knew who Mr. ZIP was and what he stood for.


With the introduction of the nine-digit ZIP Code, or ZIP+4, in 1983, Mr. ZIP went into partial retirement. His image still was printed on the selvage of some sheets of stamps, but that practice ended in January 1986. Mr. ZIP still is used occasionally by the Postal Service."

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