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Golden glow

Major milestones bookend summer

Smiling woman stands outside popcorn company storefront
In July, the Postal Service launched USPS Connect Local, which attracted business customers like Debra Moore.

As summer began, the Postal Service was basking in the glow of a remarkable achievement: 50 years as an independent entity.

An oral history featuring 25 current employees who were there from the beginning, and a retrospective of Postal Service Day, declared by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971 to mark the inauguration of the new organization, were undertaken for the anniversary.

There was a special pictorial postmark offered, as well.

“The Postal Service has grown and changed with America, boldly embracing new technologies to better serve a growing population,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said at the time. “We stand ready to deliver for America well into the next half-century and beyond.”

In July, one new way the organization delivered was through the successful test run of USPS Connect Local, providing same day and next-day package delivery in select Texas communities.

And a bigger postcard size, created at the behest of business mailers — and costing the same as the traditional size — took effect.

Many of summer’s Forever stamp releases reflected the season’s lighter, carefree vibe. Tap Dance honored the lively American art form; Mystery Message contained a hidden message in a colorful pattern; and Backyard Games celebrated popular pastimes for Americans of all ages.

On the business front, price changes included an increase in the cost of a First-Class Mail letter to 58 cents.

As the season drew to a close, the Postal Service celebrated another major milestone: the 60th anniversary of the Combined Federal Campaign, the government’s annual workplace charity.

In a video to help kick off this year’s campaign, DeJoy and the leaders of postal unions and management associations explain how historically important the Postal Service has been to the campaign and urge continued support of this “postal proud tradition.”

Coming next: Link’s four-part review of 2021 concludes Dec. 29 with a look back at autumn achievements.