You’ve Got Mail: A History of the Post Office
These days, what we find in the mailbox tends to fall into one of two categories: junk mail or quaint hand-written reminders of times past. While the mail may now vacillate between irritating or antiquated, for the more than two hundred years the U.S. Post Office played a central role in American life. It was not only the institution that allowed us to communicate with each other across state lines and beyond, but it played a vital part in our country’s political organization and hierarchies.
The History Guys explore the rise – and fall – of our postal system. We consider the how the Post Office stitched together a disparate country in the nation’s early days and look at the ways the USPS has been on the cutting edge of technology. We also poke some holes in the myth of the Pony Express.
- David Henkin, Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley
- Richard John, author, journalist, and historian of communications
- Jennifer Mercieca, Associate Professor of Communications at Texas A&M University
- Nancy Pope, Historian and Curator of Postal History at the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution
- Chris Corbett, author and journalist
Listen to individual show segments.
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Post Office and more with a list of resources the History Guys have put together on the subject.
See a listing of music used in the episode.
Read the listener comments that helped shape the show.