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4 Wacky Reasons to Love the USPS

The Postal Service has put its stamp on American history in unusual ways.

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It means business!

On June 8, 1959, then Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield loaded 3,000 letters onto two metal containers and placed them into missile aboard the USS Barbero, a submarine docked at Norfolk, Virginia. Twenty-two minutes later, the missile landed in Mayport, Florida, 100 miles away. The first and only “missile mail” was seen as a subtle message of America’s military dominance.

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It’s hyper-conscientious!

The U.S. Postal Service’s Stamp Fulfillment operation is housed 156 feet underground in a business complex created in the limestone deposits of Kansas City, Missouri. The consistent temperature and humidity level protect the nation’s stamp stock, keeping the up to $500 million of stamp inventory in mint condition.

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It’s resourceful!

In the 1920s, the USPS began flying mail from coast to coast. But in a time before sophisticated airplane instruments, pilots got lost. To help, the USPS constructed giant bright yellow concrete arrows on the ground in 11 states that pilots could use as a visual reference. Each arrow was flanked by a 51-foot steel tower and lit by a rotating beacon.

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It’s creative!

On the island of Molokai, northwest of Maui, you can mail a coconut anywhere in the world. Just write the address on the outside of the coconut, pay for postage, and the Hoolehua Post Office will take care of the rest.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest