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
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week