U.S. Postal Service celebrates 50 years as an independent agency

The U.S. Postal Service is celebrating its birthday today.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the post office operating as an independent agency.

On this day in 1971, the U.S. Postal Service was born from the U.S. Post Office Department. This made it independent, as opposed to a cabinet–level agency. Since this change, the USPS has introduced zip codes, Forever stamps, and more.

According to a press release, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy spoke of the anniversary, saying, “In the more than two centuries since Benjamin Franklin was appointed our first Postmaster General in 1775, the Postal Service has grown and changed with America, boldly embracing new technologies to better serve a growing population.”

Generally, the post office does not operate off of taxpayer dollars. Instead, they rely on the sale of postage and other goods and services to operate.