Special Delivery – Postal Trivia……

Trivia_NewmanBy: Paula Green


Ben Franklin was known as a great inventor, a brilliant politician and even a leading author, but did you know that he was also the colonies’ Postmaster General?  On July 26, 1775, the Continental Congress appointed him the first Postmaster General of the organization now known as the United States Postal Service (USPS).  He was responsible for all Post Offices — from Massachusetts to Georgia — and had authority to hire as many postmasters as he saw fit.  Franklin served until November 7, 1776. 


The postal service of the United States began with the delivery of stampless letters, whose cost was borne by the receiving person. Eventually a national postal system was established.

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express officially began with relays of men riding horses and carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2,000-mile trail. Riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The pony express riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

In 1893, the first U.S. commemorative stamps were issued.  The top-selling commemorative stamp of all time was the Elvis stamp.   It was released on January 8, 1993, (Elvis’ birthday) with extravagant first day of issue ceremonies at Graceland. The USPS printed 517 million of them, three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp.

The first stamp sets were issued in the 1920’s to celebrate the Opening of the British Empire Exhibition. The first Forever Stamp went on sale in April 2007, and it featured an image of the Liberty Bell.

There were plenty of famous people who worked for the USPS.  Abraham Lincoln was the only President who had served as a postmaster.  Harry Truman briefly held the title of postmaster, as well.  Truman signed papers but immediately turned both the position and its pay over to an assistant.

Some famous people that worked for the post office included – Shirley Babashoff, Bill Cosby, Walt Disney, William Faulkner, Sherman Hemsley, Rock Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Noah Webster, Hal Williams and Richard Wright.

We’ve also seen some fictional postal characters – Cliff Clavin in Cheers, and Newman in Seinfeld.

The slang term “going postal” (crazy, uncontrollably angry) comes from a series of incidents between 1986 and 1997 where USPS employees shot and killed what amounted to more than 40 people as a result of workplace rage.

The USPS has 560,000 career employees, including many veterans. It also serves as the center of a $1.3 trillion mailing industry, which supports between 7 million and 8 million private-sector jobs and which is heavily dependent on a healthy and efficient Postal Service.

Since we’ve delivered information on the mail service, we must now stamp our way through this postal puzzle.  Get set to carry your thoughts, because it’s time to get a little trivial…



  1. He was our 23rdS. Vice President, but at one time he served as the assistant postmaster general.
  2. Our 25thS. President served as the assistant postmaster in Poland, Ohio.
  3. What service should be used when sending valuables through the mail?
  4. This abolitionist believed in the overthrow of the slavery system, and he once served as postmaster in Randolph, Pa.
  5. What was the name of the delivery man on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood?
  6. What actor portrayed the postal character Newman on Seinfeld?
  7. Where is the largest post office located at in the United States?
  8. What is the name of the mailman in the Blondie cartoon?
  9. Name the Nickelodeon show where a mailbox sings “Mail” when it is delivered.
  10. What was the name of the female mail carrier in Pee Wee’s Playhouse?
  11. This former Notre Dame football player and coach at one time worked as a postal clerk in Chicago, Ill.
  12. Name the Hooterville postmaster on the shows Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.
  13. He served as a postmaster in San Antonio, N.M., and is founder of a famous hotel chain.
  14. This science educator, comedian, television host, actor, and writer, is a former postmaster from Laramie, Wyo.
  15. What does ZIP in “zip code” stand for?


Answers: 1. Adlai Stevenson  2. William McKinley  3. registered mail  4. John Brown  5. Mr. McFeeley 6. Wayne Knight 7. New York City 8. Mr. Beasley 9. Blue’s Clues 10. Reba 11. Knute Rockne 12. Sam Drucker 13. Conrad Hilton 14. Bill Nye 15. Zoning Improvement Plan




http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/benjamin-franklin/videos/postmaster-ben-franklin, https://about.usps.com/publications/pub100/pub100_007.htm, http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blmailus1.htm, http://www.funtrivia.com, http://www.graceland.com/elvis/biography/post_1977.aspx, http://ponyexpress.org/history/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_postal_employees, http://www.rioleo.org/fun-facts-about-the-us-postal-service.php