United States Postal Service

independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for providing postal service

The United States Postal Service (USPS) was founded in 1971, replacing the United States Post Office Department. Its headquarters is in Washington D.C. In the United States, it is referred to as "the post office", "the postal service", or just "the mail". Its job is to deliver letters, packages, and other items to people.

An official USPS truck

United States citizens can use their mailbox flag to signal USPS drivers to deliver the mailbox's contents to a different place.



The Postal Service was originally the Post Office Department, which began in 1775. In 1971, the Postal Reorganization Act went into effect, creating the United States Postal Service. Since then, the Postal Service has had 14 Postmaster Generals, the current one being Louis Dejoy.



The purpose of the Postal Service is to deliver equal service to all citizens of the United States. The Postal Service has almost 500,000 employees[1] to deliver and sort mail, as well as run management and clerk positions. The Postal Service is for the service of Americans, so it is generally left out of politics between political parties.

Laws Affecting The Postal Service


The Constitution gives Congress the ability to "establish post offices and post roads." Congress used this power to originally create the Post Office as well as give it power.

U.S. Code Title 39


This code outlines the duties and powers of the Postal Service, making its mission of service clear.[2]

This law, signed in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, separated the Postal Service from the rest of the Executive Branch, allowing them to act independently without approval from Congress.

This law, signed in 2006, requires the Postal Service to put money into their Retiree Health Benefit Program ahead of time. This would allow them to save money for the future. Since this law, however, the Postal Service has often been losing money due to high operating costs.

Other websites



  1. "Postal Employees Since 1926" (PDF). about.usps.com.
  2. "U.S. Code: Title 39. POSTAL SERVICE". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2021-04-07.