1775 – Benjamin Franklin named the first postmaster by the Continental Congress.
1789 – Recognizing that open access to secure and private communication was critical to forming political groups and holding free elections, the U.S. Constitution empowered Congress to establish post offices.
1792 – President George Washington officially creates the modern U.S. Postal Service.
1847 – Postage stamps issued.
1863 – Free city delivery starts.
1864 – Mail-in voting begins with Civil War soldiers casting ballots for the next president from the battlefields.
1896 – Rural free delivery starts.
1970 – The 1970 Postal Reorganization Act replaced the Post Office Department with a hybrid government agency and corporation that would provide full collective-bargaining rights to employees and continue to provide universal service at reasonable rates while becoming self-supporting.
1982 – Final year the Postal Service accepted a public service subsidy.
2006 – Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, requiring it to pre-fund retirees’ health benefits through annual payments of roughly $5.5 billion, for 10 years. These obligations, the rise of the internet, and the Great Recession combined put the USPS in the red, where it remains today.
2007 – “Forever” stamp issued.
2020 – The CARES Act included a $500 billion bailout for large corporations, but no help for the Postal Service. The Democratic-controlled House approved $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service in June as part of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES Act.