Jun 19, French King Louis XI formed a postal
1692 Feb, William and Mary
granted a royal license for postal service in the American colonies.
It empowered Thomas Neale "to erect, settle and establish within the
chief parts of their majesties' colonies and plantations in America,
an office or offices for the receiving and dispatching letters and
pacquets, and to receive, send and deliver the same under such rates
and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, and to hold
and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years."
1711 Jun 1, The Queen Anne Act,
known as The British Post Office Act of 1710, took effect in North
America on June 1, 1711. It created a formula that was used to
improve the colonial postal system and remained in effect in North
America until 1789. Colonists came to view the postal rates set
forth in the act as an excessive and unwelcome form of taxation. The
rates were revised by a later act, which took effect on October 10,
1753 The British Crown
appointed Benjamin Franklin postmaster of its American colonies.
(Econ, 11/21/15, p.29)
1775 Jul 26, The Continental
Congress established a postal system for the colonies with Benjamin
Franklin as the first postmaster general.
(AP, 7/26/97)(HN, 7/26/98)
1777-1791 Vermont became a country unto itself. It
coined its own money, set up its own postal service and elected its
(SFC, 9/22/96, Z 1 p.2)
1789 Sep 22, The US Act 1 Stat.
70 temporarily established a post office and created the Office of
the Postmaster General.
1789 Sep 26, George Washington
appointed Samuel Osgood of Massachusetts as the first Postmaster
General under the Constitution.
1792 Feb 20, President
Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office. [see Feb 20,
1789, May 8, 1794]
(HN, 2/20/98)(AP, 2/20/98)
1835 Aug 31, Angry mob in
Charleston, South Carolina, seized U-S mail containing abolitionist
literature and burned it in public.
1840 May 1, The 1st adhesive
postage stamps, the" Penny Blacks" from England, were issued.
1841 Britain’s Royal Mail set
up a postal service for Hong Kong.
(Econ, 10/24/15, p.42)
1842 Feb 15, The 1st adhesive
postage stamps in US were made available by a private delivery
company in NYC.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1845 Mar 3, Congress authorized
ocean mail contracts for foreign mail delivery.
1847 Mar 3, Post Office
Department was authorized to issue postage stamps.
1847 Jul 1, The faces of
founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were
pictured on the first U.S. government-sponsored postage stamps.
Following a Congressional directive, the Post Office issued a
Franklin five-cent stamp and a Washington 10-cent stamp.
(HNQ, 5/16/98)(HN, 7/1/98)
1847 Mauritius, a British ruled
island nation, issued the two-pence “Post Office" Blue Mauritius
postage stamp along with a similar one penny orange stamp. They
became very rare and in 1904 Britain’s King George V acquired a Blue
Mauritius for £1,450. In 2008 Helen Morgan authored “Blue Mauritius:
The Hunt for the World’s Most Valuable Stamps."
(WSJ, 8/9/08, p.W9)
1851 Apr 23, Canada issued its
first postage stamp, the Three-Penny Beaver, which carried an image
of the beaver.
(CFA, '96, p.44)(Econ, 1/23/10,
1853-1857 The 1st perforated postage stamps were
made under the administration of Pres. Franklin Pierce.
(WSJ, 2/11/03, p.A10)
1855 Mar 3, Registration of
letters was authorized by Congress.
1856 Jan 3, John Thompson
(1827-1876), Norway-born immigrant, departed Placerville, Ca., with
skies and snow shoes on his first mail run to Carson City, Nevada.
By the spring of 1857 he made 31 crossings of the Sierra to deliver
(ON, 4/10, p.7)
1858 Mar 9, The mailbox was
1860 Apr 3, The US Pony Express
mail system began when one horse and rider carrying a bulging mail
pouch began the 10 1/2-day run from San Francisco, Calif., to St.
Joseph, Mo. Riders left St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, Ca., at
the same time. They averaged 12 mph over 75-100 mile segments
between 153 (190) change stations. The freight company of Russell,
Majors and Waddell began the service. The enterprise failed after
only 18 months, however, due to mounting financial losses and
competition from the ever-expanding telegraph network. Donald C.
Biggs (d.2000 at 72), prof. of history at SF State, later authored
""The Pony Express: Creation of the Legend."
(CL, 4/3/96)(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D4) (AP, 4/3/97)
(HN, 4/3/98)(HNPD, 4/20/99)(SFC, 6/12/00, p.A24)(AH, 10/01,
1860 Apr 13, 1st Pony Express
reached Sacramento, Calif.
1861 May 26, Postmaster General
Blair announced the end of postal connection with South.
1861 Jul 3, Pony Express
arrived in SF with overland letters from NY.
1868 Mar 17, Postage stamp
canceling machine patent was issued.
1869 Mar 1, Postage stamps
showing scenes were issued for 1st time.
1869 Oct 1, Austria issued the
world's first postal card. The first postal card was suggested by
Dr. Emanuel Herrmann and was accepted by the Hungarian government in
the same year. The first regularly printed card appeared in 1870, a
historical card, produced in connection with the Franco-German War.
The first advertising card appeared in 1872 in Great Britain. The
first German card appeared in 1874. Cards showing the Eiffel Tower
in 1889 & 1890 gave impetus to the postcard heyday a decade
later. A Heligoland card of 1889 is considered the first
multi-colored card ever printed.
1872 Oct 9, Aaron Montgomery
started his mail-order business. Montgomery Wards, a pioneer of
mail-order catalogs, was founded. The catalog of Aaron Montgomery
Ward was the first to be called a "Wish Book." The 1871 Chicago fire
destroyed his initial inventory.
(SFC, 7/8/97, p.A1)(SFEC, 5/30/99, Z1 p.8)(SFC,
12/29/00, p.A12)(MC, 10/9/01)
1872 US Congress passed
legislation forbidding advertisements on American currency and
postage. The law regarding postage was amended in Jan, 2006.
(SFC, 6/1/06, p.A1)
1873 Mar 3, US Congress
authorized federal departmental postage stamps.
1873 May 12, The penny postal
card, issued by the Post Office Department, was first put on sale in
Springfield, Mass., and in other cities a day later.
1873 The "franking privilege"
of sending mail free of charge, initiated in 1776 and extended to
war veterans, became too widespread and was abolished because it had
become too widespread and abused. In 1874 Congress began to
gradually reinstate to federal agencies and representatives.
1874 Oct 9, In Switzerland the
Universal Postal Union (UPU) was established by the Treaty of Bern.
Prior to this each country had to prepare a separate postal treaty
with other nations if it wished to carry international mail to or
1885 A Swedish “Treskilling
Yellow" postage stamp was printed with a one-of-kind error. In 1996
it sold for a record $2.3 million. In 2010 it was again sold but the
price was not revealed.
(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A6)
1898 May 19, US Congress passed
the Private Mailing Card Act which allowed private publishers and
printers to produce postcards.
1900 Apr 16, US Post Office
issued its 1st books of postage stamps.
1908 Feb 18, The 1st US postage
stamps in rolls were issued.
1911 The first US experimental
airmail flight took place on Long Island, a 3-mile journey between
Garden City Estates and Mineola.
(SFC, 9/12/08, p.B5)
1915 Sep 21, Anthony Comstock
(b.1844), former US Postal Inspector and politician dedicated to
ideas of Victorian morality, died. The anti-porn campaigner had used
his position to seize 50 tons of books and 4 million pictures.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Comstock)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.44)
1915 Nov 14, Booker T.
Washington (b.1856), Black American educator, died in Tuskegee,
Alabama. The former slave later founded the Tuskegee Institute
(1881). Booker Taliaferro Washington later became the 1st black on a
US postage stamp. His autobiography "Up From Slavery" was listed in
1999 as the 3rd best work of non-fiction in the English language in
the 20th century by the Modern Library. In 2009 Robert J. Norrell
authored “Up From History: The Life of Booker T. Washington."
(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 4/5/99)(SFC, 4/29/99, p.C5)(WSJ,
1918 May 13, The first US
airmail stamps, featuring a picture of an airplane, were introduced.
On some of the initial stamps the airplane was printed upside down;
the "inverted Jenny," as it came to be called, became a collector's
item. One sheet of 100 stamps got by inspectors. Four of the stamps
were stolen from a collector’s convention in 1955. In 2016 one of
the four surfaced at a New York auction house.
(SSFC, 11/12/06, p.A2)(AP, 5/13/08)(SFC, 4/16/16,
1918 May 15, The U.S. Post
Office and the U.S. Army began regularly scheduled airmail service
between Washington and New York through Philadelphia. Lieutenant
George L. Boyle, an inexperienced young army pilot, was chosen to
make the first flight from Washington. Even with a route map
stitched to his breeches, Boyle lost his way and flew south rather
than north. The second leg of the Washington--Philadelphia--New York
flight, however, took off and arrived in New York on
schedule--without the Washington mail. The distance of the route was
218 miles, and one round trip per day was made six days a week. Army
Air Service pilots flew the route until August 10, 1918, when the
Post Office Department took over the entire operation with its own
planes and pilots.
(AP, 5/15/97)(HNPD, 6/15/99)(HNQ, 4/24/01)
1919 Apr 30, US postal workers
discovered 30 booby-trap bombs in the national mail system,
targeting several members of congress and other public figures.
Investigators later implicated a network of anarchists and radicals
who were rounded up and deported.
(SFC, 5/1/09, p.B2)
1920 In Germany a Weimar 5
pfennig postage stamp of this year doubled in cost the following
year. It jumped to 10 marks in 1922, 30 marks in January 1923, 1,000
marks in May and 800,000 marks in October. By the end of 1923
sending a letter cost 10 billion marks.
(Econ, 6/16/12, p.64)
1921 Feb 22, The first US
transcontinental airmail flight took off from Mineola, NY, to SF,
Ca. By 1926 commercial airlines took over the flights and a year
later all airmail was carried under contract.
(SFC, 9/12/08, p.B5)
1921-1944 The Soviets allowed Tuva to call itself
independent as the Tuvan People’s Republic. Tannu Tuva stamps were
issued by Moscow in odds shapes and they became collector's items.
(WSJ, 4/1/06, p.A5)(Econ, 11/7/15, p.46)
1922 Britain decommissioned the
HMS Ascension and the island became a dependency of St. Helena.
Ascension Island issued its first postage stamps.
1923 Jun 21, Marcus Garvey was
sentenced to 5 years for using mail to defraud.
1924 Jul 1, A regular
transcontinental airmail service formed between NYC and SF.
1924 Jul 2, The 1st day of
transcontinental airmail service brought news to SF mailed from New
York after 34 hours and 45 minutes.
(SFEC, 12/26/99, p.W7)
1927 The first living person to
be honored on a U.S. postal stamp was pioneering pilot Charles
Lindbergh. A 10-cent stamp was issued, showing Lindbergh's airplane,
the Spirit of St. Louis, in which he had made his historic flight
from New York to Paris.
1928 Mar 28, J.L. Rutledge,
Pacific Air Transport pilot, ran out of fuel and parachuted from his
plane near Orinda, Ca. The plane crashed nearby and he retrieved the
mail and delivered it to the Orinda post office.
(SFC, 3/28/03, p.E8)
1937 May 25, 1st airmail letter
to circle the globe returned to New York.
1939 May 20, Regular
trans-Atlantic air mail service began as a Pan American Airways
plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, N.Y.,
bound for Marseilles, France.
1943 May 5, Postmaster General
Frank C. Walker invented the Postal Zone System.
1954 The Alaska town of North
Pole began Operation Santa, a volunteer program to respond to
children’s letters sent to Santa Claus. The US Postal Service
dropped the program in 2009.
(SFC, 11/20/09, p.A9)
1957 Apr 13, Due to lack of
funds, Saturday mail delivery in US was temporarily halted.
1957 Apr 15, Saturday mail
delivery was restored after Congress gave the PO $41 million.
1959 Jun 11, Postmaster General
banned D.H. Lawrence's book, "Lady Chatterley's Lover." Charles
Rembar (d.2000 at 85) began a 7-year fight against obscenity laws
when he contested the US postmaster general’s ban on Lady
Chatterley’s Lover. In 1968 Rembar authored "The End of Obscenity."
In 1980 he authored a history of American law: "The Law of the
(SFC, 10/28/00, p.A25)(SC, 6/11/02)
1963 Jul 1, The U.S. Post
Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP codes. The Zoning Improvement
Plan was initially developed by Robert Aurand Moon (d.2001 at 83).
(AP, 7/1/97)(HN, 7/1/98)(SFC, 4/16/01, p.A22)
2015 The US cut direct mail
service with Cuba. In late 2015 a deal was struck to re-establish
direct mail service.
(SFC, 12/12/15, p.A2)
1964 Jan 10, The US Post Office
released a new stamp showing Texas pioneer Sam Houston with a rifle.
Its initial Dec 13 release was withheld due to the assassination of
(SSFC, 12/15/13, p.42)
1964 Dec 11, US Postmaster
General John A. Gronouski ordered postal inspectors’ observation
stations ripped out of the men’s rest rooms of some 5,000 US post
(SSFC, 12/7/14, DB p.46)
1965 May 24, Supreme Court
declared a federal law allowing the post office to intercept
communist propaganda as unconstitutional.
1966 Sep 13, Lou Jacobs, US
clown (d.1992), was featured on a US postage stamp.
1966 Pres. Johnson named Lim
Poon Lee as postmaster of San Francisco. To date this was the
highest federally appointed position ever held by a Chinese
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.C3)
1967 Jul 1, The United States
Postal Savings System, signed into law by President William Howard
Taft and operated by the United States Post Office Department, went
out of service.
1968 A portrait of Walt Disney
was featured on a new US stamp.
(SFC, 6/24/04, p.B3)
1970 Mar 18, The US Postal
Service was paralyzed by the first postal strike. A walkout of
letter carriers in Brooklyn and Manhattan set off a strike that
involved 210,000 of the nation’s 750,000 postal employees. Pres.
Nixon declared a state of national emergency and assigned military
units to NYC post offices.
(HN, 3/18/98)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)
1971 Jul 1, The US Post Office
Department was transformed into the US Postal Service as an
independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government
of the United States. The US government changed the Post Office to a
quasi-government body with a mandate to be financially
1974 Mar 2, US 1st class
postage stamps rose from 8 cents to 10 cents.
1976 Jun 9, James A. Farley
(b.1888), US Postmaster General (1932-1940), died.
1977 The US Mail service began
Express Mail in response to private competition.
(SFC, 6/7/97, p.A6)
1977 San Francisco Postmaster
Lim Poon Lee (d.2002) established a post office at 867 Stockton St.,
in Chinatown. In 2009 US Congress voted to name the office in honor
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.C2)
1978 Feb 1, Harriet Tubman
became the 1st black woman honored on a US postage stamp.
1978 May 29, The US Postal
Service issued the first alphabet stamp, the A stamp, when the
first-class rate went from 13 to 15 cents, after being 13¢ for 3
years. The series ended with the H stamp in 1999 with rates up to 33
1981 Mar 22, Postage rates went
from 15 cents an ounce to 18 cents an ounce.
1986 Aug 20, Postal employee
Patrick Henry Sherrill (44) went on a deadly rampage at a post
office in Edmond, Okla., shooting 14 fellow workers to death before
killing himself. This incident is credited with inspiring the
American phrase "going postal".
(WSJ, 8/7/97, p.A12)(AP,
1992 Marvin Runyon (d.2004),
former auto executive, took over as head of the US Postal Service
and served until 1998. He trimmed 23,000 management jobs and added
letter carriers to improve service.
(SFC, 5/4/04, p.B7)
1995 Jan 3, The US Postal
Service raised the price of a first-class stamp to 32 cents.
1998 Feb 3, A new 32-cent
postage stamp in honor of John Muir was to be issued at the
Martinez, Ca. post office.
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.A19)
1998 Jul 30, The US Post Office
began selling a 40-cent breast cancer stamp. Eight cents from every
stamp will go to breast cancer research sponsored by the NIH and the
Dept. of Defense.
(SFC, 5/9/98, p.A1,14)(SFC, 7/30/98, p.A1)
1998 Walt Disney’s Snow White
was featured on a new US stamp.
(SFC, 6/24/04, p.B3)
1999 Jan 20, The Malcolm X
postage stamp, the 22nd in the Black heritage series, went on sale.
(SFC, 1/21/99, p.A3)
1999 The US Postal Service
issued a 33 cent stamp in honor of writer Ayn Rand.
2000 May 16, In Oregon ballots
were counted in the nation’s first regular primary election
conducted by mail. Estimated response was 47%.
(SFC, 5/17/00, p.A8)
2001 Sep 1, The US issued a 34
cent stamp featuring Arabic calligraphy that says “Eid Mubarek," a
greeting used to celebrate the 2 holiest Islamic holidays, Aid
al-Fitr for the end of Ramadan fasting, and Eid al-Adha for the end
of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
(SFC, 11/30/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 21, Thomas L. Morris
Jr. (55), a DC postal worker diagnosed with the deadly inhalation
form of anthrax, died. Officials began testing thousands of postal
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/24/01, p.A1)(AP,
2001 Oct 22, DC postal worker,
Joseph P. Curseen (47), died from anthrax. .
(SFC, 10/23/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/24/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 23, Traces of anthrax
were found at an off-site facility that handled mail for the White
(SFC, 10/24/01, p.A1)
2003 Jan 22, Bill Maudlin
(b.1921), WW-II era cartoonist, died in Newport Beach, Ca. In 1945
he won a Pulitzer Prize for his war cartoons and authored "Up
Front," a collection of cartoons and an essay on war. A 2nd Pulitzer
followed in 1958. He was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame on
May 19, 1991. In 2008 Todd DePastino authored “Bill Maudlin: A Life
Up Front." On March 31, 2010, the US Post Office released a
first-class denomination ($.44) postage stamp in Mauldin's honor
depicting him with WWII characters Willie & Joe.
(SFC, 1/23/03, p.A2)(WS, 2/22/08,
2003 Apr 24, A new Cesar Chavez
stamp was issued by the US postal service.
(SFC, 4/25/03, A27)
2003 Oct 27, A new US stamp
dedicated to Theodore Geisel (d.1991), creator of Dr. Seuss, was
introduced at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in
(SFC, 10/16/03, p.E13)
2004 Apr 3, The US Postal
Service unveiled a new John Wayne commemorative postage stamp for
its annual "Legends of Hollywood" issue at a private fund-raiser.
Previous honorees in the "Legends of Hollywood" series including
Marilyn Monroe (1995), James Dean (1996), Humphrey Bogart (1997),
Alfred Hitchcock (1998), James Cagney (1999), Edward G.
Robinson (2000), Lucille Ball (2001), Cary Grant (2002)
and Audrey Hepburn (2003).
2004 Jun 23, The US issued 4
new 1st class stamps, part of a series featuring Disney themes. This
set was titled “The Art of Disney."
(SFC, 6/24/04, p.B3)
2004 Jul 30, A new Austrian
postage stamp featuring a likeness of California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger went on sale on his birthday.
2004 Oct 1, The U.S. Postal
Service canceled a brief experiment that allowed ordinary people to
make postage stamps using images of their dogs, babies and even, it
turned out, outlaws such as the Unabomber.
2005 Feb 9, Ceremonies were
scheduled for a first-day-of-issue stamp commemorating Pres. Ronald
(SFC, 10/7/04, p.B3)
2006 Jan 25, Hattie McDaniel,
the first black actress to win an Academy Award, was honored with a
U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp. McDaniel became the 29th
person honored in the Postal Service's long-running Black Heritage
2006 May 3, The US Postal
Service said it wants to raise the price of a first-class stamp by 3
cents to 42 cents, and proposed a "forever" stamp that people could
use as hedge against future rate increases.
2006 May 16, The US Postal
Service approved a one-year trial that allows businesses to purchase
custom postage from private companies that contract with the Postal
(SFC, 6/1/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 20, The US released
new postage stamps featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman,
Supergirl and a half dozen other superheroes.
2006 Dec 20, The US Postal
Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) became effective. It
required the USPS to prepay a large share of future retirees' health
benefits, a burden imposed on no other federal agency.
2007 Jan 10, The US Postal
Service honored Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), the First Lady of Song,
with her own postage stamp.
(AP, 1/10/07)(SFC, 1/10/07, p.E8)
2007 Apr 12, The new US
“forever" postage stamp was scheduled to go on sale. The cost for
first class mail was set to rise to 41 cents on May 14.
(SFC, 4/11/07, p.A3)
2007 May 14, The cost of
first-class US letters went up 2 cents to 41 cents.
2008 Jan 8, Britain's Royal
Mail issued a set of stamps commemorating James Bond to mark 100
years since the birth of his creator, Ian Fleming.
2008 May 12, The US Postal
Service increased first-class postage a penny to 42 cents.
(SSFC, 5/11/08, p.A4)
2008 Jul 16, The US Postal
Service released a series of stamps honoring black cinema.
(SFC, 7/16/08, p.E3)
2009 Feb 9, The US postal
service released 4 new 42-cent stamps in Springfield, Ill.,
highlighting the personal history of Abraham Lincoln.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 10, The US Postal
Service announced that the price of a first-class stamp will rise to
44 cents on May 11. The Postal Service said it lost $2.8 billion
last year and, unless the economy turns around, is headed toward
much larger losses this year.
2009 Sep 17, In Britain the
Communication Workers Union called for a national walkout following
a rolling program of local postal strikes that began in July. The
strikes over higher pay and job security have already caused a
backlog of 20 million letters and parcels, about a quarter of the
Royal Mail's daily volume.
2009 Oct 8, Britain's postal
workers agreed to launch a nationwide strike after months of rolling
regional strikes over pay and job security. The Communication
Workers Union said that 76% of more than 80,000 union members voted
in favor of the action. The union was required to give seven days
notice before any strike.
2010 May 23, The Swedish 1885
“Treskilling Yellow" postage stamp retained its title as the world’s
most expensive stamp following an auction in Geneva. In 1996 it had
sold for a record $2.3 million. The price this year was not
(SSFC, 5/23/10, p.A6)
2010 Sep 2, The US Postal
Service issued a new 44 cent stamp recognizing Mother Teresa
(1910-1997) for her humanitarian work.
(SFC, 9/3/10, p.A4)
2010 Sep 29, In Puerto Rico 7
US Postal Service workers were indicted on charges they shipped
thousands of parcels of heroin, cocaine and marijuana through the
2010 Dec 28, The US Postal
Service unveiled its first-class commemorative stamps for 2011. All
were marked with the word "forever" instead of the current rate of
2011 Jan 21, Cuba suspended
indefinitely all mail service to the United States, extending a ban
announced in November and expanding it to cover letters as well as
packages. Deliveries were suspended in November following a US
decision to increase security measures following last year's failed
terror threat involving packages mailed from Yemen.
2011 Apr 5, The Pacific nation
of Niue has printed unusual commemorative stamps for Britain's royal
wedding: an image of Prince William and Kate Middleton with
perforations that split the couple down the middle.
2011 Jun 3, In Canada picket
lines went at Canada Post mail processing plant in Winnipeg as part
of a limited rotating strike around the country.
2011 Jun 14, Canada Post locked
out all its employees, saying more than a week of rotating strikes
by unionized letter carriers and other postal workers had cost it
too much money.
(Reuters, 6/15/11)(Econ, 7/2/11, p.30)
2011 Jun 26, Canada’s Senate
endorsed back-to-work legislation ending the labor dispute that shut
down the postal service.
2011 Aug 5, The US Postal
Service posted a net loss of $3.1 billion in its third quarter and
warned again it would default on payments to the federal government
if Congress did not step in. USPS cut work hours during the quarter
by 3.1 percent compared to the previous year, when quarterly net
losses were $3.5 billion.
2011 Sep 26, The US Postal
Service abandoned a long-standing rule that stamps cannot feature
people still living and asked the public for suggestions.
(SFC, 9/27/11, p.A8)
2011 Oct 18, The cash-strapped
U.S. Postal Service announced a one-cent increase in the cost of
mailing a letter, starting in January.
2012 Jan 13, Sri Lanka reacted
furiously to a spate of "personalized" foreign postage stamps
bearing the image of slain Tamil Tiger rebel supremo Velupillai
2012 Mar 27, British Royal Mail
announced that stamp prices will shoot up to record highs of 60p for
first class and 50p for second class effective April 30.
2012 Aug 9, The US Postal
Service reported losses of $57 million per day in the last quarter
and warned it will miss another payment due to the US Treasury. A
week earlier it defaulted on a payment for future retiree health
(SFC, 8/10/12, p.A5)
2012 Oct 1, The US Postal
Service defaulted on a $5.6 billion payment, the 2nd time it has
missed a deadline this year. It expected operating losses of $15
billion for the fiscal year ending Sep 30.
(SFC, 10/2/12, p.A4)
2012 Nov 15, The struggling US
Postal Service reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion and
forecast more red ink in 2013. Much of the red ink in 2012 was due
to mounting mandatory costs for future retiree health benefits,
which made up $11.1 billion of the losses.
2012 The Vatican's Philatelic
and Numismatic Office, which sells commemorative coins and stamps
featuring popes, saints and the like, began offering a special €20
($26) stamp and certificate package to help offset a
recession-induced drop in corporate sponsors for the restoration of
the colonnade surrounding St. Peter’s Square.
2013 Feb 6, The financially
struggling US Postal Service said it will stop delivering mail on
Saturdays, beginnin g in August, but continue to disburse packages
six days a week.
2013 Mar 20, The US Congress
foiled the financially beleaguered Postal Service's plan to end
Saturday delivery of first-class mail when it passed legislation
requiring six-day delivery.
2013 Apr 16, A letter was
intercepted in Washington DC, postmarked from Memphis and mailed to
Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker's office. It contained the
toxic substance ricin, forcing the temporary closure of a Senate
post office and prompting a federal investigation.
(SFC, 4/18/13, p.A9)
2013 Apr 17, FBI agents in
Corinth, Ten., arrested Paul Kevin Curtis (45). He was accused of
mailing letters containing ricin to Pres. Obama and Sen. Roger
Wicker (R-Mis). Curtis had claimed to have uncovered a conspiracy
while working at a local hospital from 1998-2000, when he discovered
a refrigerator full of dismembered body parts and organs in a
(SFC, 4/18/13, p.A9)
2013 Apr 23, Paul Kevin Curtis,
the Mississippi man charged with sending poisoned letters to
President Barack Obama, a US senator and a state judge, was released
from jail. The reason for the release wasn't immediately clear.
2013 May 14, In Washington
state two letters containing the deadly poison ricin were
intercepted in Spokane.
(SSFC, 5/19/13, p.A7)
2013 Jun 7, In Texas Shannon
Richardson (35), a pregnant Texas actress, was arrested and charged
with orchestrating a ricin letter scheme. She had told FBI agents
that her husband had sent ricin-tainted letters to President Barack
Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On Dec 10 she pleaded
guilty in a deal to cap her prison time at 18 years.
(AP, 6/7/13)(SFC, 12/11/13, p.A8)
2013 Sep 12, Britain's
government officially launched plans to privatize more than half of
Royal Mail, saying an initial sale of shares in the state-run postal
service would occur within weeks.
2013 Sep 16, The United States
and Cuba sat down in Havana for a second round of talks on
re-establishing direct mail services between the two countries after
a 50-year ban.
2013 Oct 11, Shares in
newly-privatized Royal Mail soared on their stock market debut,
bolstering criticism that the company — which traces its
five-century history back to King Henry VIII — was undervalued by
the British government.
2013 Nov, The US Postal Service
unveiled plans to open 84 post offices in Staples stores around the
country, but they would not be staffed by USPS union members.
(SFC, 12/3/13, p.D5)
2013 Dec 11, Canada's postal
service said it will phase out door-to-door mail delivery in
response to falling mail volumes and big financial losses. Canadians
will instead have to collect their mail from corner community
mailboxes that are to be set up in cities nationwide.
2013 Dec 24, US postal
regulators approved a temporary two-year increase of 3 cents for the
first class stamp. The 49 cent rate will be effective as of Jan 26,
(SFC, 12/25/13, p.A7)
2014 Jan 26, The cost of a US
first-class stamp rose 3 cents to 49 cents.
(SFC, 1/27/14, p.A4)
2014 Feb 11, South Africa
issued a black-and-white commemorative stamp to celebrate the life
and legacy of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela who died last year.
2014 Mar 25, Royal Mail,
Britain's main postal operator, said it plans to axe 1,600 jobs
under a fresh cost-cutting program, six months after its
controversial part-privatization by the government.
2014 Apr 3, Germany’s Deutsche
Post said it is no longer accepting letters bound for Crimea after
its Ukrainian counterpart told the Geneva-based Universal Postal
Union (UPU) that delivery to the region was no longer guaranteed.
2014 Apr 24, US postal workers
in cities large and small rallied against a US Postal service pilot
program to open counters in Staples stores.
(SFC, 4/25/14, p.A6)
2014 May 22, US politicians,
federal officials and gay activists celebrated the first day issue
of a US Postal Service stamp in honor of Harvey Milk, on what would
have been his 84th birthday.
(SFC, 5/23/14, p.A1)
2014 Nov 10, The US Postal
Service said it has been hacked potentially compromising sensitive
information on its employees, which numbered over 800,000 workers.
(SFC, 11/11/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 14, The US Postal
Service named Megan Brennan as its first female postmaster general.
She will succeed Patrick Donohue, who will retire in February.
(SFC, 11/15/14, p.A6)
2014 India’s Tamil Nadu state
launched a postcard program as a way of tracking the education of
some of the more than 10 million children who are estimated to
migrate with their families to different parts of India every year.
2015 Nov 13, The US Postal
Service reported a $5.1 billion loss for the just-completed 2015
fiscal cycle, a slight improvement over last year.
2015 Dec 11, The US and Cuba
announced they have struck a deal to re-established direct mail
service, which was cut in 1963.
(SFC, 12/12/15, p.A2)
2016 Mar 10, In Nevada a drone
made by Flirtey successfully delivered a package to a residential
location in Hawthorne in what was reportedly the first fully
autonomous urban drone delivery in the US.
2016 Jun 1, Dutch prosecutors
raided a string of locations and seized cash and hundreds of
thousands of fraudulent letters in an investigation into worldwide
mail scams. The next day US law enforcement authorities said the
scams had defrauded "elderly and vulnerable" Americans out of tens
of millions of dollars.
2016 Dec 19, British postal
workers began what could become the longest strike in the Post
Office's 300-year history as part of a wave of industrial action
that is also threatening Christmas travel chaos.
2017 Oct 27, The late
Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos was commemorated with a
national stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth on
September 11, as part of a series of stamps marking presidents'
2018 Feb 20, The US Postal
Service unveiled a new Year of the Dog stamp to help celebrate the
Lunar New Year.
2018 May 19, American pop
artist Robert Indiana (89), born in Indiana as Robert Clark, died at
his island home off the coast of Maine. His "LOVE" print, first
created for the Museum of Modern Art's Christmas card in 1965, was
the basis for his 1970 Love sculpture and the widely distributed
1973 United States Postal Service "LOVE" stamp.
(SFC, 5/23/18, p.D6)
2018 Aug 19, The Palestinians
said Israel has withheld delivery of post shipments to the
Palestinian territories through its national postal service since
2010. In recent days the Palestinian postal staff in Jericho has
been sorting through tons of undelivered mail in a room packed with
letters, boxes and even a wheelchair. The one-time release of the
ten and a half tons of mail was a "gesture".
2018 Oct 18, China criticized
Washington's decision to leave the UN treaty that regulates
international postage. President Donald Trump has said the
144-year-old Universal Postal Union (UPU) puts US businesses at a
disadvantage and is used by shippers of the narcotic fentanyl to the
US from China.
2018 Oct 22, Canada Post
workers went on a rotating strike, affecting mail deliveries in four
cities after nearly one year of stalled contract negotiations.
2019 Apr 1, Philippine customs
officials opened nicely gift-wrapped boxes of cookies and oatmeal
flown in all the way from Poland and found 757 of live tarantulas at
a mail exchange center near Manila's international airport. A
Filipino man was later arrested when he tried to claim the venomous
2019 Sep 25, The UN agency
coordinating postal systems worldwide reached a compromise to reform
its fee structure, proposed by the United States, that would avert
the Trump administration leaving the global network.
2019 Nov 13, Britain's
Communication Workers Union said that postal company Royal Mail had
won a high court injunction to block potential strikes by the union.
2019 Sierra Leone issued 1,566
different postage stamps this year with the help of Stamperija, a
Lithuania-based outfit that designs and prints stamps.
(Econ., 8/22/20, p.40)
2020 Feb 9, The United Arab
Emirates restored mail services to Qatar, frozen for more than two
years amid a diplomatic rift, after a regional meeting attended by
both Gulf states and the United Nations’ postal agency.
2020 Mar 28, Poland's
parliament passed a law early today allowing postal voting for
senior citizens and those in quarantine or self-isolating as the
government looks to press ahead with May presidential elections
which opposition parties want postponed.
2020 Apr 3, The US Postal
Service announced a new series of stamps in honor of San Francisco
sculptor and arts education advocate Ruth Asawa (1926-2013).
(SFC, 4/8/20, p.E1)
2020 May 8, The US Postal
Service said it lost $4.5 billion in the quarter ending in March,
more than double its loss over the same period last year, and warned
COVID-19 could severely hurt its finances over the next 18 months.
2020 Jul 15, It was reported
that US Mail deliveries could be delayed by a day or more under
cost-cutting efforts being imposed by the new postmaster general.
The plan eliminates overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal
workers and says employees must adopt a "different mindset" to
ensure the Postal Service’s survival during the coronavirus
2020 Aug 7, US Postmaster
General Louis DeJoy said the USPS faces a "dire" financial position
even as it posted a slightly narrower third-quarter loss amid
soaring package demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Aug 14, New Jersey Gov.
Phil Murphy said NJ will mail a ballot to every voter in the state
for November's elections, as well as hold in-person voting amid the
2020 Aug 14, The 300,000-member
National Association of Letter Carriers said that the union's
executive council had endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president,
warning "the very survival" of the US Postal Service is at stake.
2020 Aug 16, More than 100
demonstrators converged outside the North Carolina mansion of
postmaster general Louis DeJoy, protesting the cutbacks, delays and
other changes to the USPS that have created fears for mail-in voting
ahead of the November presidential election.
2020 Aug 17, President Donald
Trump denied trying to undermine the Postal Service's ability to
handle a flood of mail-in ballots ahead of the November US election,
as Democrats prepared to move against changes his administration has
set in motion.
2020 Aug 18, Several Democratic
state attorneys general said they will announce legal action against
President Donald Trump's administration over Postal Service changes
that may affect mail-in voting in the November US presidential
2020 Aug 18, Postmaster General
Louis DeJoy said that he would suspend cost-cutting measures and
operational changes at the Postal Service until after the November
(NY Times, 8/19/20)
2020 Aug 20, It was reported
that at least 4,800 chicks shipped to Maine farmers through the US
Postal Service have arrived dead in recent weeks after rapid cuts
hit the federal mail carrier's operations.
2020 Aug 21, US Postmaster
General Louis DeJoy told lawmakers that mail-in ballots in the Nov.
3 election would be delivered on time, despite concerns that
cost-cutting measures could result in widespread delays and millions
of uncounted ballots. DeJoy earlier this week suspended all mail
service changes until after the election, but said today he did not
plan on returning decommissioned sorting machines to service before
Nov. 3. The Postal Service had planned to remove 671 mail sorting
machines nationwide, including 502 delivery barcode sorting machines
capable of processing 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, by Sept. 30.
As of Aug. 16 it had already decommissioned 95% of its target.
2020 Aug 21, Six states led by
Pennsylvania sued the US Postal Service and the new postmaster
general, saying service changes in recent weeks have harmed the
ability of states to conduct free and fair elections.
2020 Aug 22, The US House
passed legislation that would provide $25 billion to the United
States Postal Service, while also banning any operational changes to
the agency like the removal of mail-sorting machines and collection
boxes and reversing already-enacted measures. It was unlikely the
bill will pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
(The Week, 8/23/20)
2020 Sep 4, Mail balloting in
the presidential election began as North Carolina started sending
out more than 600,000 ballots to voters — responding to a massive
spike in requests that has played out across the country as voters
look for a safer way to cast ballots during the pandemic.
2020 Sep 17, A US judge blocked
controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail
(SFC, 9/18/20, p.A7)
2020 Sep 18, A federal judge in
Nevada dismissed a lawsuit by President Donald Trump's re-election
campaign that sought to block the state from sending mail-in ballots
to every registered voter, a legal victory for Democrats ahead of
November's election. The order was made public on Sept. 21.
2020 Sep 21, A federal judge in
New York ordered the Postal Service to reverse operational changes
that have slowed mail delivery in recent months and to prioritize
election mail, the latest legal rebuke to Louis DeJoy’s management
of the agency.
(NY Times, 9/21/20)
2020 Sep 24, The US Attorney's
Office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania said that nine ballots
had been found in a dumpster next to the elections building with
seven cast for Trump and the other two resealed inside their
envelopes. A day later Luzerne County Manager said a temporary
independent contractor, who was assigned to sort mail at the
elections bureau "incorrectly discarded into the office trash UMOVA
ballots," which is an acronym for ballots from military and overseas
(ABC News, 9/25/20)
2020 Oct 12, It was reported
that Nicholas Beauchene (26), a US postal worker in New Jersey, has
been arrested after he threw almost 2,000 pieces of mail, including
election ballots, in dumpsters. Some 1,875 pieces of mail were
recovered, including 600 first-class items and 99 ballots for
2020 Oct 14, The US Postal
Service agreed to reverse changes that slowed mail service
nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
during a pandemic that is expected to force many more people to vote
2020 Oct 23, The US Postal
Service (USPS) told a US judge it has returned 137 mail processing
machines to service since August and approved thousands of daily
extra delivery trips this month as it works to deliver millions of
2020 Oct 23, The Austrian Post
said it has united two aspects of the coronavirus pandemic in a
stamp printed on toilet paper that people can also, at a push, use
for social distancing. The 2.75 euro "corona stamp" comes in sheets
10 cm wide.
2020 Oct 26, The US Department
of Justice announced that DeShawn Bojgere (30), a former US Postal
Service worker in Kentucky, has been charged "with the delay or
destruction of mail." He was accused of throwing away
"approximately" 111 absentee ballots along with other mail in a
construction dumpster in early to mid-October.
2020 Nov 5, The US Postal
Service (USPS) said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in
Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps today and
were being delivered to election officials.
2020 Nov 5, The Washington Post
reported that more than 150,000 ballots were caught in US Postal
Service processing facilities and not delivered by Election Day. As
a result, some ballots could arrive after their states’ deadlines.
(NY Times, 11/6/20)
2021 Mar 23, The US Postal
Service (USPS) outlined a proposed 10-year strategic plan that would
slow current first-class delivery standards and raise some prices to
stem $160 billion in forecasted red ink over the next decade.
2021 Apr 23, It was reported
that Judges have quashed the convictions of 39 former postmasters
after the UK's most widespread miscarriage of justice.
2021 May 25, Spain's
state-owned Correos Espana issued a set of four stamps in different
skin-colored tones on the anniversary of George Floyd's death in
Minnesota. The "Equality Stamps" stirred backlash as they were
priced by skin color with the darker stamps priced lower than the
(SFC, 5/29/21, p.A3)
2021 Jul 1, Yogi Berra became
the first player in nine years to appear on a USPS stamp.
(NY Times, 7/2/21)
2021 Aug 25, It was reported
that the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a UN agency in charge of the
world's postal policies, has voted to block the use of UK stamps
from the Chagos Islands. All post to and from the remote archipelago
must now bear stamps from Mauritius.
Go to http://www.timelinesdb.com
Subject = Postage
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