Today is National Thank A Mail Carrier Day (also known as Thank A Mailman Day).
My husband and I feel lucky to have such great relationships with our mailmen. We live in a small suburb neighborhood in York, PA called Old East York and our mail carrier walks their route each day to hand-deliver our mail. I have lived here long enough to see our first mailman, Scott, retire and move on to his next adventure in life. He had told us that his plan was to buy a boat and enjoy time on the water. I’ve now had the opportunity to get to know Mike, our current mailman and both my husband and I enjoy getting the opportunity to say hello and catch up with him when we can. Living here and having a mail carrier that walks their route has been a plus for us because it allowed us to get to know them.
In honor of National Thank A Mail Carrier Day, I thought I would share a few fun facts about the mail system.
- The United States postal system was established on July 26, 1775, but the official United States Postal Service (USPS) wasn’t created until 1971.
- It wasn’t until the Civil War in 1863 that mail was delivered to your home. Prior to that, each household would have to go to the post office to collect their mail. It was a postal clerk from Cleveland, Ohio, Joseph Briggs, that came up with the idea to deliver the mail to homes free of charge.
- It wasn’t until 1923 that each home was made to have a mailbox or mail slot for mail delivery. Prior to this, the mail carrier was made to wait until they could hand-deliver the piece of mail to the intended customer, sometimes having to wait and wait and return to the home several times before being able to come in contact with the customer directly. I bet they were happy about this change.
- The number of pieces of mail has diminished over the years. The peak was in 2006 with the number of pieces reaching 213 billion. The decrease has continued from year-to-year with USPS delivering 143 billion pieces of mail to 160 million addresses in 2019. This number continues to decrease.
- There are approximately 58,622 mail carriers in the United States – 54% being male carriers and 43% being female carriers.
I am certainly thankful for our mail carriers who deliver our mail 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year during these cold icy days as well as the hot sweltering ones in the summer. I hope that many of you get an opportunity to say a quick thank you next time you see your mail carrier. Maybe even make a point to get to know them.