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Daily printout: March 1

Friday, March 1, 2024

Female letter carrier delivering mail in a U.S. mail truck in 1968
In 1968, Jane Mikesell began a 30-year postal career as the first female letter carrier in Phoenix.

Women’s History Month begins

Female employees made strides in the U.S. postal system long before suffrage

The Postal Service will observe Women’s History Month, which begins on Friday, March 1.

The commemoration was first observed nationally as Women’s History Week in 1980. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, a global observance that began in 1911.

In 1987, Congress designated the entire month of March as Women’s History Month.

Women often advanced in the postal system long before they won rights in the world outside.

For example, women were serving in important postal roles more than a century before they could vote. In 1775, Mary Katherine Goddard became the first known female postmaster, and the first female mail messenger was Sarah Black, in 1845.

One of the pioneering pilots flying U.S. Mail was Katherine Stinson, the “Flying Schoolgirl” who dropped mailbags over the Montana State Fair in 1913.

Today, 45 percent of the USPS workforce is female.

The organization has celebrated many women and female achievements on stamps in recent years. These include civil rights pioneer Constance Baker Motley, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, author Toni Morrison, publisher Katharine Graham, sculptor Edmonia Lewis and nuclear physicist Chien-Shiung Wu.

Recent stamps have also paid tribute to women’s soccer, women’s rowing and the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational program receiving federal funds.

The Women’s History Month and National Women’s History Alliance websites have more information.

Employee smiling in a workplace storage room
Phoenix Custodian Ruben Munoz

‘Am I hit?’

An employee aided a motorist who escaped a shooting spree

Custodian Ruben Munoz was working outside the Phoenix Processing and Distribution Center last fall when he heard gunshots in the distance.

Moments later, a woman pulled up in her car, got out and approached Munoz.

“Am I hit?” she asked repeatedly.

The woman had been driving nearby when she saw a man shooting a gun. Her car was struck by one of the bullets.

After moving the woman to a safe place, Munoz called 911, then alerted his co-workers. He checked the woman for injuries and stayed with her until police arrived.

The woman provided officers with a description of the suspect, who was later arrested.

She also sent a letter to Munoz, thanking him for his help.

Employees featured in “Heroes” receive letters of commendation through the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program. The nomination form is available on Blue.

Smiling woman stands near puzzle display
Postmaster Lejuana Tennyson stands near a puzzle display at the Smithville, OK, Post Office.

Piece by piece

A postmaster offers a gift that keeps giving and two employees mark milestones

Postmaster Lejuana Tennyson is helping forge community, one puzzle piece at a time.

As a festive diversion for customers at the Smithville, OK, Post Office, Tennyson purchased a jigsaw puzzle depicting vintage holiday postage stamps.

The pieces were laid out on a lobby table in December with a sign inviting interested customers to try their hand.

“It was fun to see how well it went over,” Tennyson said. “People came to our lobby at all hours. I’ve had people say, ‘I’m here at 1 a.m.’”

She remembered a married couple working on it for an entire afternoon and even overheard someone mentioning it at a local store.

Then there was the game warden who came to the retail window to say, “I want to lodge a complaint. I’m spending far too much time on this puzzle!”

It was so well received that Tennyson laid out a Love stamps version for Valentine’s Day.

The puzzles are 1,000 pieces — 500 would be too easy, she said — and she plans to continue the practice as long as postal themes allow.

Keeping up with Pace

Like his last name, Genoa, NV, Postmaster Gregory Pace has kept a steady career stride. He recently reached a milestone of 50 years with the Postal Service.

Pace joined the organization in 1973 as a mail handler in Eureka, CA. He has gone on to serve in a variety of other roles, including retail associate and officer in charge, as well as postmaster in several offices.

Since 2007, Pace has been postmaster in Genoa, the oldest ongoing settlement in Nevada, founded in 1851.

“This town is full of history and has seen a lot of changes,” said Pace. “I’ve had an enjoyable career. I’m fortunate to work in a beautiful valley with a great group of customers.”

‘Priceless’ purpose

Reyes De La Torre, a Fresno, CA, letter carrier, recently marked 50 years of federal service.

De La Torre served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s, then joined USPS in 1981.

“What I love most is the feeling of purpose I derive from my daily duties,” he said. “The more mail I have to deliver, the stronger my purpose. Being able to serve the public in this capacity is priceless.”

“People” appears regularly in Link. Got news to share? Email us.

Former basketball player Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes speaks at the John Wooden stamp dedication ceremony.
Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes, a three-time NBA All-Star who played for the UCLA Bruins, speaks at the John Wooden stamp dedication ceremony on Feb. 24.
News Quiz

Hoop hoop hooray!

How much do you remember about these recent stories?

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Under coach John Wooden, how many NCAA Division I national basketball championships did the UCLA Bruins win?

a) Four

b) 10

c) 88

d) None of the above

2. Which Postmaster General Heroes’ Program honoree aided a customer who fell, then put away her groceries?

a) Geneva, NY, Carrier Technician Nathaniel Bowes

b) Bath, NC, Rural Carrier Associate Bryan Boyd

c) Evarts, KY, Rural Carrier Matthew Sizemore

d) El Dorado, KS, Letter Carrier Jeffrey Sparks

3. True or false: The Postal Service reported operating revenue of $21.6 billion for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 0.5 percent  compared with one year earlier.

a) True

b) False

4. Which of these organizations is offering virtual leadership courses for the Postal Service’s Executive and Administrative Schedule employees?

a) Center for Creative Leadership

b) Center for Leadership Creativity

c) Creative Leadership Center

d) Human Fund

5. Which of the following was not the title of a recent webinar available to USPS employees?

a) “Food for Thought: Boosting Mood Through Nutrition”

b) “Guided Meditation for Aligning Heart and Mind”

c) “Keeping the Beat: Your Heart, Your Health, Your Future”

d) “Mind Doesn’t Matter: Stop Thinking So Much!”

Answers: 1) b. 2) d. 3) a. 4) a. 5) d.

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