Feb. 20, 1792: President Washington created the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). One of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the Constitution, it is, today, an independent government agency responsible for providing postal service in the United States. The USPS traces its roots to 1775, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general. The USPS has not directly received taxpayer dollars since the early 1980s, with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters.
Feb. 20, 1980: President Carter urged a U.S. boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. A month later he ordered the boycott. The Soviet Union retaliated four years later, boycotting the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Quote of the day
"Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt." –Herbert Hoover
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- In defense of Obama's golfing
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- A trick for better lunch sandwiches
- Russia's new air force is a mystery
- Wait a minute, Mr. Postman: Why postal banking won't work
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
Subscribe to the Week