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Independence Day

History of nation, USPS linked

People carry patriotic banner down street
People march in an Independence Day parade in Wellfleet, MA, in 2014.

Thursday, July 4, is Independence Day, the annual holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Independence Day holds special significance for the Postal Service, whose history is closely tied to the nation’s birth.

The organization traces its roots to July 26, 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Postmaster General by the Second Continental Congress, a convention of delegates from the 13 Colonies.

The Founding Fathers considered a strong postal system so important to the nation’s success that the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to “establish Post Offices and post roads” to help ensure the free flow of ideas and information.

“The Postal Service has served the American people for more than 240 years,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “Our history is America’s history, and we’re proud of the important role our organization has played in shaping the nation. Our commitment to public service is unwavering, and we will continue to bind our country through prompt, reliable and efficient delivery services.”

The National Archives’ site has a history of the Declaration of Independence, while has more information about the Postal Service’s history.

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