5 Things You Didn't Know About The Postal Service

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office. Here are five interesting facts you probably didn't know about the U.S. Postal Service...


Blue Mailboxes Came to Be in 1971 The postal services mailboxes are distinguishable thanks to their color. It would be hard to imagine them being anything other than blue. But the postal service didn't actually start painting their mailboxes blue until as recently as 1971. Prior to the 1970s, mailboxes ranged in colors, including army green just after the First World War.

Mules Still Deliver Mail in One Part of the Country It may be hard to believe, but there is still one part of the US where mules still deliver mail. While this may sound like a scene from Little House on the Prairie, it's a real scenario played out in a small village in Arizona. Mail is still being delivered in this pioneer way because of the location of the village of Supai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Mules and horses have to trek 8 miles to deliver mail to the local Havasupai tribe that lives there.


The Post Office Has an Unofficial Mascot The US Post Office's unofficial mascot is a dog named Owney. The terrier was found abandoned at a post office in Albany in the late 1800s. The dog stuck around the post office and would only allow postal workers to pet him. Owney was eventually honored with a commemorative stamp in 2011.

Over 200 Billion Pieces of Mail Are Delivered Every Year We all know how busy mail carriers can be, but it may come as some surprise at just how productive they really are. There are currently over 40,000 post offices across the US, delivering 212 billion pieces of mail every year to over 144 million homes and businesses.

1940 Marked the First Year With an African-American on a Stamp Booker T. Washington was the first African-American to be commemorated on a stamp in April 1940. The stamp was part of the Post Office's Famous American Series.

The Postmaster General Earns More Than the Vice President of the US Only one federal government employee earns more than the Postmaster General: the US President. The Postmaster General earns more than the Vice President of the US as a federal employee, earning $276,840 a year compared to the vice president's salary of $235,100.