Despite e-mail, the United States Postal Service handles billions of pieces of mail and packages each year. Understanding the complexity of this government service, we look to history to appreciate how we receive regular mail and the efforts undertaken to strengthen the process.
Did you know that on July 1st, 1963 the Zone Improvement Plan or ZIP code was introduced across the country to ensure that mail travels more efficiently and quickly. Originally the code comprised five digits; the first represents a certain group of states, followed by region or large city, then delivery addresses within a region. While the lowest zip codes begin in New England, the highest end in Alaska. In 1983, four digits were added, preceded by a hyphen, to indicate a more specific location, address, or delivery route, as an way to improve service for the growing population.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Anderson, W. (1962, Nov 29). With Zip, Mail Is Due To Go Much Faster. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Special. (1963, Jun 30). Post Office Sets Three ZIP Codes for City. The Hartford Courant (1923-1993)
- New ZIP Code Means the Zone Improvement Plan. (1963, Jul 06). Call and Post (1962-1982)
- Yes, Santa Claus Has a ZIP Code. (1963, Aug 09). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Bright, V. (1965, Jul 11). Mr. Zip Catching On After 2 Years. Boston Globe (1960-1988)
- In the Days Before Zip Code. (1969, Mar 19). Chicago Tribune (1963-Current)
- Teague, S. (1976, Jul 24). Your Letters Really Do Get There Faster If You Use Zip, Postal Officials Insist. The Austin American Statesman (1973-1987)
- Seaberry, J. (1980, Feb 22). Postal Codes Won't Be So Zippy Come Next Year. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Minzesheimer, B. (1983, Jan 16). Birds Of a Feather Get Zipped Together. The Sun (1837-1993)
- Mail Has Been ZIPing Right Along For 25 Years. (1988, Jul 02). The Hartford Courant (1923-1993)
- San, F. E. (1988, Aug 08). ZIP Gives Them Your Number. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current)
- Heise, K. (1996, Oct 31). J. Edward Day; Led Post Office. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current)
- Kleeman, Rosslyn S. The Changing Workforce. Demographic Issues Facing Employers. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Census and Population, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, United States House of Representatives. Washington, DC: General Accounting Office, General Government Division, 1992. ERIC Document
- Park, Marlene and Gerald E. Markowitz. Democratic Vistas: Post Offices and Public Art in the New Deal. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1984. N8838 .P37 1984
- Rubio, Philip F. There's Always Work At the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight For Jobs, Justice, and Equality. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2010. e-book
- We Deliver: The Story of the U.S. Postal Service, ERIC Document
- Wee Deliver: The In-School Postal Service. An Introductional Guide to the Postal Service's Wee Deliver In-School Literacy Program. Washington, DC: Postal Service, 1997, ERIC Document
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