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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Appendix D. Important Dates

1775 First Postmaster General under Continental Congress
1789 First Postmaster General under Constitution
1794 Post Office Act
1829 Postmaster General became cabinet post
1838 Congress declared all railroads post routes
1847 Postage stamps
1860 Pony Express
1863 City delivery service
1864 Money orders
1896 Rural free delivery service
1902 First omnibus public buildings law
1910 Policy to build post offices near railroad stations
1911 Postal savings
1913 Public Buildings Act
1913 Public Buildings Commission established to standardize public building construction
1918 Airmail
1926 Public Buildings Act (Keys-Elliot Act)
1931 Federal Employment Stabilization Act required advance planning by Federal construction agencies
1933 National Industrial Recovery Act established Public Works Administration
1933 Public Works of Art Project
1934 Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture (later called Section of Fine Arts)
1935 Emergency Relief Appropriation Act established Works Progress Administration (later called Works Projects Administration)
1938 Ramspeck-O'Mahoney Act put all postmasters within Civil Service and limited their political activity
1939 Federal public buildings program transferred to the Federal Works Agency
1948 Parcel post air service
1949 Public Buildings Act of 1949 empowered the Commissioner of Public Buildings to employ private architectural firms in public buildings projects
1950 One-day service in residential areas
1954 Postal Service becomes responsible for all exclusively post office projects while GSA retains multi-user projects combining different Federal functions (i.e. courthouse, agency offices, and post office in one building)
1955 Certified mail service
1963 Zip codes
1969 Patronage factor eliminated in appointments of postmasters
1969 First postage stamp canceled on the moon
1970 Postal Reorganization Act converted the Post Office Department to the U.S. Postal Service, an independent agency within the Executive Branch (Postmaster General left the President's cabinet in 1971)
1971 National Service Standards



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