National Thank a Mail Carrier Day (February 4)
Check out the weird holiday National Thank a Mail Carrier Day on February 4. Learn the history of mailmen, and get ideas on how to celebrate.
One weird holiday on February 4 is National Thank a Mail Carrier Day. Check out the other weird February holidays!
History of National Thank a Mail Carrier Day
Did you know that mail delivery has been around since the ancient Egyptians? The oldest piece of mail is from Egypt in 255 BC, but historians believe people were hired to deliver official royal mail as far back as 2000 BC.
This weird holiday is also known as Thank Your Mailman Day. Take the time to give them a verbal thank you, or perhaps leave out a snack or bottle of water for them. There are lots of ideas further on!
The United States Postal Service first originated in 1775, when the Second Continental Congress organized the first mail service in America At the time, it was called the Constitutional Post.
The first Postmaster General was Benjamin Franklin, and the first female postmaster was Mary Katherine Goddard. She was appointed by Ben Franklin to be postmaster in Baltimore, Maryland.
Prior to this, each colony had postmasters that were in taverns. Mail was delivered to the taverns instead of to individuals. This was based on the British system of sending mail by Post instead of Express Riders.
The first official post office department was opened in 1792.
Postage stamps were invented in 1847 to make it easier for senders to be the one to pay the fee for sending a letter. Prior to that, the receiver was often the person who paid, and they weren’t allowed to receive their mail until they had paid. There was a five-cent stamp with a picture of Ben Franklin and a ten-cent stamp with a picture of George Washington.
The famous Pony Express was established on April 3, 1860. Their well-known motto – which is incorrectled attributed USPS today – was “Neither rain, or snow, nor death of night, can keep us from our duty.” Another variation of this motto today is, “Through rain or snow, or sleet or hail, we’ll carry the mail. We will not fail.”
The old New York City Post Office building (also called the James Farley Post Office) on 8th Avenue has another variation carved in stone over its entrance: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Interestingly, the motto actually comes from “The Persian Wars,” which was written in 445 BC by Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian. He wrote, “It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed”
Herodotus was describing the Persian postal couriers who carried letters during the Greek and Persian wars. King Cyrus the Great was the one who instituted the courier system, both within his own kingdom and with neighboring countries.
Although it may be tempting to ship your children off to their grandparents so you can get a break for the day, in 1920 the United States Post Office (USPS) added “children” to their list of banned items to be shipped!
Zip codes were established on July 1,1963.
In 2015, Megan Brennan was appointed to be the first female United States Postmaster General.
In 2020, there were 333,570 mail carriers employed in United States. California has the most carriers, followed by Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.
Ideas for National Thank a Mail Carrier Day
Here are some ways you thank your mail carrier today.
Thank You Delivery Drivers (Free Printable)
This “Thank You Delivery Drivers” free printable is to inspire you to make your own delivery driver thank you station on National Thank A Mail Carrier Day.
Gifts for the Mailman! Holiday Gift Idea for Postal Carriers
What do you give to someone who helps you out all year long but you don’t actually know on a personal level, like the mailman? Choosing gifts for mail carriers on National Thank A Mail Carrier Day may have been challenging in the past, but this idea makes gifts for the mailman easy and fun! They are sure to enjoy it.
No-Bake Valentine’s Day Cookies
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate both it and National Thank A Mail Carrier Day than with these adorable no-bake letter valentine's day cookies?
Easy Hot Cocoa Gift for Kids to Make
This easy hot cocoa gift was inspired by the classic storybook, “The Jolly Christmas Postman.” It's an adorable way to celebrate National Thank A Mail Carrier Day.
Cozy Coupe USPS Mail Truck Makeover
This Little Tikes Cozy Coupe USPS Mail Truck Makeover is the cutest, and it will definitely warm the heart of any mail carrier who sees a kiddo wanting to deliver the mail, too. Make your own on National Thank A Mail Carrier Day.
Mail Carrier Thank You Snack Bucket + Printable Sign
Tis the season to… get a lot of package deliveries? Does that sound familiar? This mail carrier thank you snack bucket idea is easy and such a kind way to show some appreciation on National Thank A Mail Carrier Day for the package carriers who work round the clock this time of year!
How to Help Kids Thank Essential Workers
Celebrate National Thank A Mail Carrier Day with these free printables for thanking essential workers (including mailmen).
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