United States Post Office Department

United States Post Office Department

Infobox Government agency
agency_name = United States Post Office Department

seal_width = 180px
seal_caption =
formed = February 20, 1792
dissolved = July 1, 1971
superseding = United States Postal Service
chief1_name = United States Postmaster General
chief1_position =
footnotes =

The Post Office Department is the former name of the United States Postal Service when it was a Cabinet department. It was headed by the United States Postmaster General.

The Postal Service Act signed by President George Washington on February 20, 1792 established the Department. Postmaster General John McLean was the first to call it the Post Office "Department" rather than just the "Post Office." The organization received a boost in prestige when President Andrew Jackson invited his Postmaster General, William T. Barry, to sit as a member of the Cabinet. [http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub100/pub100.htm]

During the Civil War, postal services in the Confederacy were provided by the Confederate States of America Post Office Department, headed by Postmaster General John Henninger Reagan.

The Postal Reorganization Act signed by President Richard Nixon on August 12, 1970, replaced the cabinet-level Post Office Department with the independent United States Postal Service. The Act took effect on July 1, 1971.

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