President George Washington Signs the Postal Service Act of 1792
On this day in 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act into law, establishing the foundation of the modern Postal Service. In 1775, the Continental Congress agreed to make Benjamin Franklin the first ever Postmaster General of the United States. Franklin, along with his son-in-law Richard Bache, developed much of the infrastructure that would lead to the creation of the first officially sanctioned postal system in the country.
The creation of this new postal system in 1792 coincided with the creation of a new nation. The Postal Service Act of 1792 included many provisions aimed at providing more civil rights and helping the country expand. Under the legislation, newspapers could be sent via mail for a discounted rate, in order to develop a freedom of the press. Personal privacy was also considered, as the act gave severe punishments for opening mail that was not intended for you as well as stealing mail from a carrier. Additionally, the act also gave the postal service the responsibility for creating new postal routes. The creation of new postal routes was intended to lead settlement, expansion, and development across the country.