Published: July 2, 2012
For more than two centuries, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night has kept American letter carriers from delivering the mail. But with the USPS facing $6.5 billion in losses so far this fiscal year, it now seems like budget woes might do what the weather couldnâ€™t. (At least on Saturdays.)
In this episode, the History Guys will explore the rise – and fall – of the post office system. Most of us think of the mail primarily as a communications medium, but in the early days of our nationâ€™s history, it served a vitally important political function as well. National politicians used the mail to reach a geographically-scattered electorate, and citizens used it to engage one another on the important issues of the day. If that werenâ€™t enough, we also have the postal system to thank for the nationâ€™s early road network.
So what would it mean for our country if the mail only came a few days a week — or not at all? When you think about the post office, do you think “pillar of democracy” or just “bloated bureaucracy?” What would you most like to know about the history of the mail? Please help us shape this episode — post your thoughts, stories, and questions below!