Happy birthday to . . . us!

On this day in 1775, members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, agreed:

That a Postmaster General be appointed for the United Colonies … [and] that a line of posts be appointed under the direction of the Postmaster General, from Falmouth in New England to Savannah in Georgia, with as many cross posts as he shall think fit.

This simple statement signaled the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the U.S. Postal Service.


Benjamin Franklin was vital to the organization of the American postal system, serving as postmaster of Philadelphia and a deputy postmaster for the American colonies before being appointed postmaster general by the Continental Congress in 1775. He marked postage-free letters with his unique personal signature: “B. Free Franklin.”

As the first American communications network, the postal system not only facilitated commerce and strengthened the bonds of family and friendship—it united a nation.

Many things have changed since 1775. In scale, the postal system has grown from 75 Post Offices scattered along the East Coast to more than 30,000 locations tucked into every corner of the nation.

Now, 238 years after its birth, the Postal Service is still delivering for America, moving faster as technology develops and making sending and receiving mail more convenient than ever.

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About USPS Stamps

The Postal Service™ is proud of its role in portraying the American experience to a world audience through the issuance of postage stamps and postal stationery. Each year the Postal Service issues commemorative stamps reflecting subjects of national significance and appeal. More than 160 years of stamp development has yielded an incredible archive of imagery and commentary reflecting American culture and society. Even in this fast-changing world, stamps are still a versatile and convenient method of postage. And stamp collecting is a lifetime hobby that is fun and educational for all ages. Stamp collecting is easy to start without a big investment. It is also a great way to learn about the world and its many wonders, opening the door to an exciting universe of history, science, geography, the arts, technology, and sports. Our mission is to provide universal service that is prompt, reliable, efficient, affordable, and self-sustaining. Throughout its history the Postal Service has grown with the nation, binding it together by ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has the same ability to communicate regardless of technological change.