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Today in history: The birth of the USPS
Happy 222nd birthday!
The struggling Post Office is slowing its first-class mail delivery, which could help the flailing agency save billions of dollars.
The struggling Post Office is slowing its first-class mail delivery, which could help the flailing agency save billions of dollars. Walter Hodges/CORBIS

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


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