Locals Celebrate Postal Heritage Day

September 1, 2015

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A birthday cake from the festival
in Berkeley, CA

(This article first appeared in the September-October 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

A number of locals joined with others to celebrate the Postal Service’s 240th birthday on July 26, “Postal Heritage Day.”

On that day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress created the United States Post Office Department and named Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General – a year before the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Locals marked the milestone with birthday cakes and other festivities. They also highlighted the Postal Service’s vital role in American life that should be protected as a public service, a public asset, and a national treasure.  Some examples included:

For the third year in a row, a “Postal Heritage” festival was held in front of the Berkeley Main Post Office in California, which happened to be celebrating its 100th birthday. The event celebrated both “Postal Heritage Day” and the successful struggle to save the Berkeley Post Office. Speakers, musicians and comedians entertained the crowd.

The Seattle Area Local sang “Happy Birthday” to the post office at Seahurst Park in Burien, WA, at the local’s summer picnic. Despite storms, the turnout was good and spirits were high.

The Seattle Area Local.

In Washington, DC, the union members held an event outside the Dorothy Height Post Office, followed by a tour of the National Postal Museum. At a table decorated with balloons, passersby signed postcards declaring, “I Stand with Postal Workers.”

In Portland, OR, Portland Communities and Postal Workers United marched through the downtown area and ate birthday cake with none other than Ben Franklin, who gave a brief history of the Postal Service and spoke about the challenges postal workers face today.

The Mid-Hudson [NY] Local celebrated by informing the public about the shady deal between Staples and the USPS and passing out brochures in front of a Staples store in Middletown, NY. 

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) sent a letter to postal workers, honoring Postal Heritage Day and taking a “moment to recognize the valuable service you provide” and to express “sincere gratitude for the fine job you do daily to keep us connected.” The Central Michigan Area Local and the Roanoke [VA] Area Local received proclamations from their mayors recognizing the historic day. 

Passerby signed postcards at the
Washington, DC, event.

On June 5, a letter and request for a proclamation was received at the White House petitioning President Obama to designate July 26 as Postal Heritage Day.  The request was written “on behalf of the nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in communities all across America” and was signed by the presidents of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the American Postal Workers Union. Efforts are continuing to win recognition for Postal Heritage Day.

Delegates to the APWU and NALC 2014 National Conventions adopted resolutions seeking recognition of Postal Heritage Day. "Post offices and postal workers are the anchors of our communities, said Executive Vice President Szeredy. "Postal Heritage Day recognizes that our public Postal Service must be protected as a national treasure."


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