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Spirit of innovation

50 years after founding, USPS still delivers

The Postal Service’s long tradition of innovation continues today through initiatives like Delivering for America.

The Postal Service will mark its 50th anniversary as an independent agency on July 1.

The organization traces its origins to 1775, when the Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin Postmaster General of the United Colonies, predecessor to the United States.

In the 19th century, the Post Office became an executive department, then transitioned to USPS on July 1, 1971.

“In the more than two centuries since Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775, the Postal Service has grown and changed with America, boldly embracing new technologies to better serve a growing population,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “We stand ready to deliver for America well into the next half-century and beyond.”

The organization’s achievements during the past half-century include the introduction of ZIP+4 codes (1983), the first USPS website (1994), Forever stamps (2007) and new products and services like Every Door Direct Mail (2011) and Informed Delivery (2017).

This spirit of innovation continues through Delivering for America, the organization’s new 10-year plan, which focuses on restoring service excellence and financial stability to the Postal Service through new efficiencies, products and services, and investments in people, technology and infrastructure.

To mark its 50th anniversary, the Postal Service has published an oral history that features 25 current employees who were part of the organization’s transition from the Post Office Department, and a retrospective of National Postal Service Day in 1971.